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SOFi Releases Biodegradable Cup, Eliminates Plastic Lids

Compostable paper cup
(Credit: SOFi)

SOFi Products, the Miami-based creator of compostable paper SOFi Straws, has released what the company says is the first 100% biodegradable cup that eliminates the need for a plastic lid.

The SOFi Cold Cup is a foldable, plastic-free, and bioplastic-free cup that will biodegrade naturally within 180 days in landfills, soil, or marine environments.

“There are no cups currently on the market that are 100% biodegradable and eliminate the need for a plastic lid,” said SOFi co-founder Brandon Leeds. “Until now, all cups — even those that say ‘compostable’ — must either be sent to a composting facility or recycled. Both rarely occur and cups end up in landfills where they will take decades to biodegrade. If the SOFi Cold Cup ends up in the ocean or a landfill, it will be gone in under 180 days.”

The SOFi Cold Cup features four flaps that fold together to form a spill-proof lid and accommodate any of SOFi’s paper straws. This design eliminates the need for a separate lid, saving businesses money on additional inventory as well as freight costs, SOfi says. 

In 2019, the founders of SOFi set out to create a paper straw that lasts for hours, does not get soggy, and does not taste like paper. The straws were a hit, and are now offered nationwide in Walmart and at a variety of coffee and restaurant chains, including La Colombe, Bluestone Lane, Earl of Sandwich, Alfred Coffee, and more.

Many places are implementing biodegradable options for food and drink. A biodegradable and compostable drinking straw was made available for baseball fans in New York at Yankee Stadium this season.

The phade straw by WinCup is a non-petroleum, non-forest-based bioplastic product that is made with polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), which is a biodegradable biopolymer made from the fermentation of canola oil. WinCup says the straw will act like traditional plastic straws but with lower greenhouse gas emission and waste impacts. 

Similarly, Starbucks has made a commitment to eliminate toxic PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in its food packaging materials. As part of the company’s new sustainable packaging policy, the transition away from these dangerous chemicals in its food packaging materials will be complete in the US by the end of 2022. Starbucks previously received a letter grade of F in 2018, 2019, and 2021 in the Retailer Report Card, which benchmarks retailers on their safer chemicals policies and implementation programs. 

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