STONE MOUNTAIN, GA.—The phade brand of PHA-based straws manufactured by New WinCup Holdings, Inc. has received the Innovation in FoodService Award for Sustainability Solutions from the National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief. The phade straw is the first mass produced marine biodegradable and home and industrial compostable drinking straw made with PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a substrate derived from the fermentation of canola oil.
While maintaining the feel and user experience of a traditional plastic straw, the phade straw was recognized for its extraordinary ability to quickly biodegrade in marine and backyard and industrial compost environments. The inaugural FoodService Innovation Awards recognize innovative new or updated products and services that exemplify adaptability and resilience in three categories: sustainability, technology, and safety and health. Honorees were judged on several different criteria, including uniqueness in the market, ability to solve a problem, and suitability for use by a panel of judges composed of restaurant industry executives, Association experts, and SmartBrief editors. WinCup’s phade was among just six other companies/brands recognized in the Sustainability Solutions Category, and was the only disposable product to win this prestigious award.
“We are honored that the National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief recognized that the phade straw, made with advanced sustainable technology, has the potential to change the world,” said WinCup Chief Executive Officer Brad Laporte. “Solving the global plastic crisis will require creativity and innovation, and phade reflects WinCup’s commitment to constantly pursue new solutions for our environment. We are even more excited to share this recognition with other leading brands in this category who share the same passion and vision for a more sustainable world. Getting to this point has not been easy, so this award means the world to us as we continue to innovate our products with a focus on sustainability.”
Phade Makes the Difference
The key to phade is PHA. PHA is used as a food source by bacteria that biodegrades the phade straw in a matter of months instead of hundreds of years like petroleum-based straws. WinCup has long been manufacturing foodservice products and has the infrastructure in place to scale phade with market demand. WinCup received the 2020 Innovation in Bioplastics Award from the Bioplastics Division of PLASTICS (The Plastics Industry Association) for the development and launch of phade.
The development of phade involved a rigorous testing and certification process. TUV AUSTRIA, a globally recognized independent third-party certifying body, certified phade as biodegradable in both industrial and backyard compost settings in a matter of months. TUV also certified the material from which WinCup’s phade straw is made as marine biodegradable. Additionally, the Biodegradable Products Institute, Inc. (BPI) has certified phade as industrially compostable.
“Receiving a recognition of this caliber inspires us to continue innovating as demand increases for viable alternatives to traditional, petroleum based plastic products,” said Michael Winters, WinCup’s President and Chief Revenue Officer. “We have worked incredibly hard to alter our entire business model to create advanced environmental solutions, like phade, that will play a vital role in solving the global plastics pollution crisis. This straw is just the beginning of what we expect to be an extremely exciting future in biodegradable polymer technology.”
WinCup’s focus on sustainable solutions was bolstered in September 2020 when Los Angeles-based private equity firm Atar Capital acquired the company. Among Atar’s core principles is a commitment to sustainability and investing in companies that work toward protecting the environment.