Straws, bowls, cutlery and even cups made of pasta could help slash the amount of single-use plastics, claims a London-based entrepreneur.
Maxim Gelmann is the founder of Stroodles, which launched in 2019 to provide an environmentally friendly solution to the single-use plastic crisis and what he calls greenwashing from the paper straw industry.
A total of 8.5 billion plastic straws are used every year in the UK, according to government figures, creating a huge landfill and ocean pollution issue. Meanwhile, paper straws are unpopular with consumers as they can become soggy and may not be recyclable.
The Russian-born businessman says Stroodles are superior to paper and plastic straws because they are more durable, flavourless, vegan, 100 per cent biodegradable and are edible raw or cooked after use.
Bars and restaurants can no longer afford to ignore the issue of single-use plastics as consumers grow increasingly aware of sustainability when they choose which venues to go to, Maxim claims.
He says: “While coronavirus has impacted hospitality, since the economy opened up we are constantly expanding and it’s been great despite all the craziness. Consumer pressure has helped. Sustainability has become a ‘can you afford not to?’ issue for venues.”
The straws are more expensive than plastic and paper but Maxim says eco-savvy diners are willing to absorb the cost when it’s passed on by the bar or cafe. “If they are paying £15 for a cocktail in London, they’re not going to have a problem with 3p for a straw,” he says.
In September, Stroodles extended its product range into edible tableware. This new range includes biscuit spoons, wheat bran plates and bowls, as well as wafer cups.
Maxim says: “We have always taken our commitment to creating solutions to plastic pollution very seriously. Ever since we started off with our signature pasta straw, we knew this was just the beginning of our journey.”