Compostable and Biodegradable Straws:
Finding Your Sustainable Sip

With sustainability ranking as a top influence in customer preferences, the shift towards eco-friendly alternatives has become more than just a trend—it’s a necessity. Among the emerging sustainable options, compostable and biodegradable straws strike an ideal balance by reducing the environmental impact of goods and services we use daily without compromising quality, user experience, or convenience.

A person in blue gloves cleans up plastic pollution at the beach.The story of plastic pollution began to unfold in the public consciousness in the late 1960s as the first unsettling discoveries of plastics accumulating in our oceans and landscapes emerged. This revelation marked the beginning of a growing awareness about the environmental impact of our consumption habits, particularly the use of single-use plastics. Initially invisible to the everyday consumer, the reality of plastic pollution has since become an undeniable part of the global environmental discourse, sparking both concern and action around the world.

As awareness grew, so did our understanding of the consequences of unchecked plastic use— from endangering marine life to disrupting ecosystems, plastic pollution has become impossible to ignore. This awakening has catalyzed a significant shift in consumer behavior and business practices. Increasingly, individuals and companies are seeking sustainable alternatives and turning away from products that offer convenience at the cost of environmental health. A commitment to using plant-based materials not only showcases dedication to environmental stewardship but also offers a competitive advantage in a market increasingly driven by conscious consumerism. 

At the heart of UrthPact’s mission is the intersection of two critical elements: profound expertise in plastics— injection molding, material science, engineering, tool design, etc— and a firsthand understanding of the damage plastic can cause when disposed of improperly. Now we’re applying decades of manufacturing experience to create single-use compostable, biodegradable straws that are not just an alternative to traditional plastic straws; they are a testament to what can be achieved when environmental responsibility is taken seriously.

Explore what sets compostable, biodegradable straws apart from their conventional plastic counterparts and discover why choosing UrthPact is a smart business choice that proudly broadcasts your commitment to a better, more sustainable future.


Everything You Need To Know About Compostable & Biodegradable Straws

The Composition of Plant-Based Materials

Compostable and biodegradable straws are primarily made from naturally derived, plant-based polymers. These polymers, extracted from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane, canola, and other natural materials, offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. The molecular structure of these natural polymers is engineered to mimic the durability and flexibility of conventional plastics, providing a similar user experience without the environmental toll.

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Compostability Certifications

Compostability is a key factor that differentiates plant-based, biodegradable straws. To be certified compostable, these straws must meet stringent standards, such as breaking down within a certain timeframe and leaving no toxic residue. UrthPact straws are certified for home composting and will decompose in a home composting environment, unlike many commercially compostable products that require industrial facilities.

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Recyclability of Plant-Based Straws

While compostability is a significant advantage, the recyclability of plant-based materials is also an important consideration. Technically, these straws are not considered recyclable. UrthPact’s focus on compostable, biodegradable straws is aligned with the goal of creating a product that can return to the earth harmlessly. While they may not be recyclable in the traditional sense, their ability to biodegrade in a compost setting presents a more sustainable end-of-life scenario than conventional recycling.

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The Difference Between Industrial-Compostable Straws and Home-Compostable Straws

Industrial or commercially compostable straws require specific conditions, like higher temperatures and managed environments, found in industrial composting facilities. Home compostable straws break down under a broader range of conditions, making them more accessible and practical for everyday consumers looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

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What Makes UrthPact Straws So Special?

The science behind UrthPact’s compostable straws is a thoughtful integration of environmental science and material engineering. By focusing on home compostability and using renewable resources, UrthPact is offering a genuinely sustainable alternative to conventional straws, paving the way for a future where sustainable choices are the best option for businesses and consumers.

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Biodegradable vs. Compostable vs. Marine-Degradable Straws


Understanding the distinction between compostable, biodegradable, and marine-degradable straws is a crucial step in the quest for eco-friendly alternatives to traditional straws. At their core, compostable and biodegradable straws, like those offered by UrthPact, represent a significant leap forward in sustainable design.

Biodegradable Straws

These straws break down naturally into basic organic elements with the help of bacteria and fungi. However, the timeline and environmental conditions required for this process can vary widely.


Compostable Straws

Compostable straws go a step further. They biodegrade and do so within a specific timeframe under specific composting conditions, turning into nutrient-rich soil in the right environment.


Marine-Degradable Straws

Designed to break down in marine environments, these straws address the significant issue of oceanic pollution, preventing harm to wildlife and reducing the amount of microplastics in our waters.


Breaking It Down:

Home-Compostable vs. Industrial-Compostable


The term “compostable straws” is often used broadly, but it encompasses various categories, each with distinct implications for disposal and environmental impact. Understanding the nuances between home compostable, commercially compostable, and other types of compostable straws is crucial in making informed decisions as a business owner or a consumer.

Home-Compostable Straws

Home-compostable straws, like those produced by UrthPact, are designed to biodegrade in home composting settings. This means they can break down in typical backyard compost bins or piles. The key advantage of home compostability is accessibility. These straws don’t require special facilities or conditions to decompose, making them a more practical and eco-friendly option for consumers who compost at home. However, the rate of decomposition in home composting can vary based on factors like temperature, moisture, and the composition of the compost pile.

Industrial-Compostable Straws

Industrial or commercially compostable straws are designed to break down in industrial composting facilities, which maintain specific conditions like higher temperatures and controlled environments. While these straws are more environmentally friendly than conventional plastic, their reliance on industrial composting means they cannot decompose in a home composting setup and require collection and transport to a suitable facility. 

Understanding the Labels

The distinction between home and industrial compostability is not always clear on product labels. It’s important for consumers to look for certifications or specific information on packaging to understand the type of composting suitable for the product. Certifications from organizations like BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) in the US or TÜV AUSTRIA in Europe can indicate industrial compostability. Home-compostable products may have different certifications or labels.

The difference between home and industrial compostability has significant implications for environmental impact. Home-compostable products offer a more direct path to reducing waste and closing the loop in a sustainable cycle. Industrial-compostable products require more infrastructure and awareness to ensure proper disposal and environmental benefit.

What About Landfill- and Marine-Degradable Straws?

Alongside home and industrial compostability, the emergence

of marine-degradable straws marks a significant advancement. These straws are specifically formulated to decompose in oceanic conditions, aiding in the reduction of marine pollution and protecting aquatic ecosystems.

While we don’t recommend marine degradation as a primary disposal method, we often have little or no insight into how our waste is processed or where it ends up once the recycling truck comes around. Marine degradation is a critical feature— even if your straw ends up where it doesn’t belong, it will not harm wildlife or contribute to the plastic pollution clogging our oceans.

In contrast, landfill-degradable straws are designed to break down within the anaerobic conditions of landfills. This option can supplement other sustainability practices in scenarios where composting is not an option.

Before you switch to compostable straws, it’s important to consider the type of compostability and the related disposal requirements. UrthPact offers a range of straw materials and styles, providing eco-friendly solutions that are practical and accessible for a diverse spectrum of scenarios, simplifying the journey towards sustainable living.

What Makes An UrthPact Straw Different?

Traditional plastic straws are petroleum-based and take centuries to decompose, causing environmental harm. Paper straws, while a better option than petroleum-based plastics, often fall short in durability and usability. Worst of all, as paper straws get soggy and begin to break down they can introduce paper debris and harmful chemicals into their surroundings— including your beverage!

UrthPact straws, on the other hand, offer the same functionality as plastic straws but with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. They feel similar to plastic straws, avoiding the common pitfalls of paper straws, such as soggy textures and altered tastes, and are biodegradable in home or commercial compost, landfills, or marine environments.

It’s also important to note that not all eco-friendly straws are designed to degrade in landfills. The choice between compostable, marine-degradable, and landfill-degradable straws should align with the specific environmental goals and disposal methods available to each business.

A hand holding a bundle of green, black, and white compostable straws.

UrthPact is committed to plant-based, compostable straws meeting and exceeding eco-friendly products’ standards, proving that sustainability and practicality can coexist harmoniously through innovative manufacturing processes aligned with environmental stewardship.

Material Matters

UrthPact straws start their life as renewable, plant-based materials. These organic inputs, such as canola oil, corn starch, and other biopolymers, are carefully selected for their low environmental impact and sustainable growth practices.

By choosing renewable resources, UrthPact significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with raw materials, in contrast to the petroleum-based pollution and chemical byproducts of traditional plastic straws.

Good For You, Your Customers, & The Planet

UrthPact’s straws are engineered to provide the same experience as traditional plastic straws while maintaining structural integrity in various beverages, from hot drinks to thick smoothies, without becoming soggy or altering the taste of the drink.

Paper straws, often criticized for their unpleasant texture and poor durability, have been a common but flawed alternative to plastic.

The Manufacturing Process

The process of transforming plant-based materials into straws is designed to minimize energy consumption and reduce waste.

Advanced technologies are employed to ensure that the straws have durability and feel similar to their plastic ancestors, addressing a common consumer complaint about alternative straw options like paper. We apply cutting-edge material science and manufacturing methods to keep the good and eliminate the bad.

Environmental Benefits

UrthPact compostable, biodegradable straws are 100% made in the USA with dual-coast manufacturing, reducing shipping efforts and minimizing carbon emissions.
The production process of UrthPact straws is not only more sustainable in terms of raw material sourcing but also in its overall environmental footprint. By avoiding petroleum-based materials, these straws do not contribute to the depletion of non-renewable resources and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions during their lifecycle.

Recent studies have shown a significant chemical content in paper straws, with PFAs occurring in 90% of paper straw test samples. UrthPact has tackled these issues head-on, ensuring their straws match conventional straws’ structural integrity and pleasant mouthfeel for a sipping experience with the same comfort as 100% PFA- and BPA-free plastic.

Advancing Sustainability in Commercial Settings

“Sustainability is a significant decision driver, as one in five consumers rank sustainability as a top-three decision criterion, with one in 10 millennials rating sustainability as their most important reason to select food and grocery brands, above even price and quality.” (source)

For commercial locations, selecting the right straw option is crucial in balancing environmental commitments with customer satisfaction. The diverse and innovative range of straws offered by UrthPact is designed to meet the specific needs of commercial settings while advancing sustainability. The range includes options like compostable cocktail straws and biodegradable smoothie straws, each tailored to different beverage types and customer experiences.

UrthPact’s commitment to variety caters to the diverse needs of commercial establishments. The biodegradable, compostable straw line includes high-demand products such as:


  • Biodegradable Straws in Bulk: Ideal for high-volume settings, these straws offer an eco-friendly solution without compromising on quality.
  • Green Biodegradable Straws: Visually distinctive, these straws signal an establishment’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Compostable Cocktail Straws: Perfect for bars and high-end venues, combining elegance with environmental responsibility.
  • Biodegradable Smoothie Straws: Designed for thicker drinks like smoothies and boba teas, offering durability and comfort.

The Great Straw Predicament: How Do You Satisfy Customers and Save The Planet At The Same Time?



Ideal for smoothies, milkshakes, and thicker drinks.
Long: 10” x 0.276” (254mm x 7mm)
Standard: 7.75” x 0.276” (197mm x 7mm)


Great for iced coffees, sodas, and other beverages.
Long: 10” x 0.216” (254mm x 5.5mm)
Standard: 7.75” x 0.216” (197mm x 5.5mm)


Ideal for cocktails, mixed drinks, and small beverages.
Straw: 6″ x 0.216″ (150mm x 5.5mm)
Stirrer: 6” x 0.137” (150mm x 3.5mm)


Six compostable straws


A Mark of Quality and Trust

UrthPact takes pride in manufacturing straws in the USA, ensuring high-quality standards and supporting local industries. Domestic manufacturing also reduces the carbon footprint associated with international transportation and logistics, furthering our commitment to sustainability. 

UrthPact’s range of compostable, biodegradable straws for commercial locations is not just about replacing plastic; it’s about elevating the standard of sustainable products in the market. By offering high-quality, diverse, and specifically tailored options, UrthPact empowers businesses to make a seamless and responsible transition towards eco-friendliness, without compromising the customer experience.

Implementing Compostable Straws:

Five Steps to Better Sustainability For Your Business

Adopting compostable straws is a significant step for any business that wants to demonstrate environmental responsibility and meet the evolving preferences of consumers.

Take these five practical steps to transition smoothly using UrthPact’s compostable straws.

1. Assessing the Transition:

Begin by evaluating your current straw usage and consider your establishment’s specific needs. Whether it’s for a fast-food chain, a high-end restaurant, or a coffee shop, UrthPact offers a range of compostable straws suitable for different beverages and customer expectations. 

Consider how straws are used in your business, including distribution and disposal.

  • Do your customers have to ask for a straw or are they distributed with every beverage by default? 
  • Are customers taking drinks to go or leaving straws to join your waste stream?
  • Do customers sort their own trash before leaving, or will staff be responsible for overseeing proper composting practices? 

Conducting a small trial run can help gauge customer reactions, answer questions about your unique usage profile, and adapt to customer feedback.

2. Educating Staff and Customers:

Training staff about the benefits of compostable straws and proper disposal is crucial. Knowledgeable staff can effectively communicate these benefits to customers, enhancing their experience and appreciation for your business’s sustainable practices. Informing customers about your switch to eco-friendly straws through signage, menu notes, or direct communication can foster a positive brand image and customer loyalty. 

3. Marketing and Branding Benefits:

Leveraging the switch to compostable straws in your marketing strategy can significantly boost your brand’s image. Highlighting your commitment to sustainability can attract environmentally conscious customers and set your business apart from competitors. Utilize point-of-sale displays and educational brochures to effectively communicate your environmental efforts to your customers.

4. Managing Supply and Logistics:

Establish a steady supply chain with UrthPact to ensure consistent availability of compostable straws. Taking time out to crunch the numbers and set up bulk purchases on regular delivery schedules can be cost-effective and ensure you never run short. 

5. Implementing Sustainable Disposal Practices:

Complement your move to compostable straws with appropriate disposal options. Understanding the availability of industrial composting, home composting, and landfill options in your area is crucial for making an informed decision. Set up composting solutions within your establishment or collaborate with local composting facilities to manage waste sustainably.

While UrthPact’s compostable straws are ideal for businesses with access to composting facilities, they are also landfill-degradable so you’ll be sure to have a great local disposal option.

Businesses that adopt UrthPact straws can enhance their brand image by aligning with environmental sustainability, a value increasingly important to consumers. This switch can also be a part of a broader ESG strategy, potentially attracting a new customer base and offering a competitive edge in the market.

By integrating UrthPact’s compostable straws into your business operations, you not only contribute to environmental conservation but also enhance your brand’s appeal to a growing demographic of environmentally aware customers. This move signifies a proactive step towards a more sustainable, responsible future, aligning your business practices with your customers’ values.

Craft your green narrative with UrthPact.
Make compostable, biodegradable straws part of your sustainability story today.

Adapting to Plastic Straw Bans

Plastic straw bans have emerged as a pivotal strategy in reducing environmental pollution, particularly as awareness of the detrimental effects of single-use plastics has grown. These bans, varying in scope and enforcement across different regions, limit single-use petroleum-based products, encouraging businesses and consumers to reach for sustainable alternatives like compostable drinking straws.

Understanding How Plastic Straw Bans Affect You

While the concept of plastic bans is straightforward, navigating them can be complex due to the absence of federal legislation. Consequently, the responsibility falls to states, cities, and counties, leading to a patchwork of regulations. States like California, Connecticut, and New York have enacted specific bans on single-use plastics. At the same time, cities like New York City, Charleston, and Miami Beach each have their own unique regulations on plastic straws and stirrers.

A row of cups sitting on a stone wall. The cups contain compostable, sustainable, plant-based straws produced by UrthPact.

UrthPact streamlines your sustainable straw transition with an extensive selection of compostable, biodegradable straws tailored to meet diverse business needs with ease and style.

Understanding and complying with these local ordinances is crucial for business owners—the lack of a unified federal standard results in varied regulations, necessitating careful

research. Simple online searches or consulting local government websites can reveal the specifics of bans in your area.

Read the Fine Print

Each ordinance is unique; for example,  the ban in Charleston, SC, allows products that meet ASTM D6400 or D6868 standards with BPI certification, while Washington’s ban takes a less discerning approach. In New York City, businesses are required to keep plastic straws available upon request. These nuances underscore the importance of thoroughly understanding local legislation to ensure compliance.

In areas with plastic bans, selecting the right alternative from a holistic perspective is vital. In addition to legal requirements and customer preferences, the unique operational dynamics of the business need to be considered to ensure a smooth transition. UrthPact’s biodegradable, compostable straws, made from plant-based PHA bioplastic, are a functional and compliant solution, surpassing the often-criticized paper straws.

Future-Proof: Staying Informed and Proactive

As the urgency around plastic pollution intensifies, more cities and legislators are expected to implement strict bans. Business owners should stay informed about potential future regulations in their areas. Engaging with local legislation, staying updated on industry news, and proactively seeking out compliant alternatives are all essential steps to successfully adapting to these changes. UrthPact’s home compostable straws are an easy choice for businesses seeking to align with these environmental shifts while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Adapting to plastic straw bans is not just about compliance; it’s an opportunity to align with consumers’ evolving preferences. By staying informed, understanding local regulations, and choosing the right alternatives, businesses can navigate these bans effectively and embrace a more sustainable future.

Navigating Common Questions About Compostable and Biodegradable Straws

Transitioning to compostable and biodegradable straws often raises questions and curiosities among businesses and consumers alike. Addressing these questions is essential for helping customers to understand the benefits and specifics of UrthPact’s innovative straw solutions.

What Makes UrthPact’s Compostable, Biodegradable Straws Different from Traditional Plastic Straws?

UrthPact straws are crafted from plant-based materials, making them compostable and biodegradable, unlike traditional plastic straws which can take hundreds of years to decompose and often pollute the environment. Despite their eco-friendly composition, UrthPact straws maintain a feel and functionality similar to plastic straws, providing a comfortable and familiar user experience.

Are Compostable Straws Truly Compostable? How Does The Process Work?

Yes, UrthPact straws are certified compostable. They can break down in a home composting environment, turning into nutrient-rich soil within a reasonable timeframe. UrthPact offers both home-compostable straws and commercially-compostable straws, giving business owners the opportunity to select the best material for their unique needs and circumstances.

Can UrthPact's Compostable Straws Be Used for All Types of Beverages?

Absolutely. UrthPact has developed a range of straws suitable for various uses, from soft drinks and water to thick smoothies. Their durability and resistance to heat and moisture make them versatile for any drinking experience. 

How Should UrthPact Straws Be Disposed After Use?

Ideally, disposal should happen in a composting bin, either home or industrial, depending on the type of straw. If a composting option is unavailable, they should be disposed of with regular waste, as they will still biodegrade faster and more safely than conventional plastic straws. 

By addressing these questions, businesses can help consumers better understand the value and practicality of switching to compostable and biodegradable straws. This knowledge addresses common misconceptions and highlights the significant environmental benefits of choosing UrthPact’s sustainable straw solutions.

Got questions of your own? We’ve got the answers you need.
Get in touch to transform your business’s environmental footprint.

The Bigger Picture:

Our Role in Environmental Sustainability

A clear cup filled with iced tea and a black compostable, marine-degradable straw.UrthPact’s Environmental Mission to Reduce Plastic Pollution

UrthPact’s mission transcends the manufacturing of eco-friendly straws; it embodies a commitment to reducing global plastic pollution and promoting sustainable practices in the industry. We’ve set an ambitious (but achievable) goal of preventing 25 billion pieces of plastic pollution from harming our oceans— but we need your help. By innovating in sustainable single-use goods, UrthPact is paving the way for more environmentally responsible products and setting new standards for the food service manufacturing sector.

The shift from traditional plastic to compostable and biodegradable materials in everyday products like straws has a significant impact on reducing plastic waste. UrthPact’s straws, designed to decompose safely and quickly, reduce the burden on landfills and oceans, where plastic pollution is a critical environmental issue.

Working Towards a Sustainable, Regenerative Future

UrthPact is committed to continuous innovation in sustainable materials and production methods that meet current environmental standards and set new benchmarks for the future. Our efforts not only prevent further ecological damage, but aim to create conditions where the environment can recover, regenerate, and restore balance. By choosing UrthPact, businesses and consumers are participating in a collective effort towards a more sustainable, plastic-free future.

A hand holds several wrapped compostable straws.

The impact of switching from traditional plastics to compostable and biodegradable alternatives is profound, particularly in addressing the critical issue of plastic waste. UrthPact’s compostable straws decompose safely and quickly, significantly reducing the accumulation of waste in landfills and oceans, thereby mitigating a major environmental challenge.

Changing The Way We Think, One Straw At A Time

Moreover, UrthPact’s role transcends product creation; it encompasses educating consumers and businesses about the importance of eco-friendly choices. This educational outreach is pivotal in influencing market trends and encouraging other companies to adopt sustainable practices, thereby magnifying the environmental impact.

Looking forward, UrthPact is dedicated to continuous innovation in sustainable materials and production methods that pioneer new benchmarks for sustainability. UrthPact’s endeavors in crafting compostable and biodegradable straws are emblematic of their deep-rooted dedication to environmental sustainability, driving a global shift towards more sustainable and responsible living.

Embrace a Sustainable Future with Compostable, Biodegradable Straws

From understanding the fundamental differences and benefits of compostable, biodegradable, and marine-degradable straws, to delving into the intricate manufacturing process that balances ecological responsibility with consumer satisfaction, UrthPact has demonstrated time and time again that sustainability can go hand in hand with quality and functionality while aligning with growing global demand.

In commercial settings, UrthPact’s diverse range of straws caters to various needs, offering a practical solution to businesses looking to enhance their environmental footprint without compromising on customer experience. The transition to these straws, supported by UrthPact’s comprehensive guidance and marketing insights, empowers businesses to be part of a positive environmental change and enhances their brand image. 

Ultimately, the choice of UrthPact’s compostable and biodegradable straws goes beyond a simple product selection; It reflects a conscious decision to reduce plastic pollution, embrace innovations and contribute to a more sustainable future.

By choosing UrthPact, consumers and businesses are taking a stand for the planet, joining a collective movement towards a cleaner, greener world.


Get in touch to place an order or find out more.