All about REPA – 100% biodegradable material made from seashells

Plastic waste and recycling is right at the top of the agenda right now, for manufacturers, consumers and retailers alike. Take for example the UK Government commons ban on all single-use plastics by 2019 or the EU 2021 single-use plastics ban, these are bold statements one ones which typify the escalation of eco agenda enforcements to come.

One of the biggest problems is single-use straws, of which 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away in the UK every year. It’s an issue of epic proportions, just imagine, single-use plastic waste such as straws is enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 1000 times over. Fortunately, though, this problem has forced design change in the material processing world, and one of these new eco materials is REPA.

What is REPA

REPA is a material produced from ground seashells that provides the same consistency and practical use as plastics, it works especially well for producing biodegradable straws and fully complies with new legislation.

As an eco-friendly, non-toxic alternative to plastic REPA straws have become a great success with customers, those who aren’t in the know cannot tell the difference between bio-degradable straws and traditional plastics. That said, many bars and pubs are taking the opportunity to highlight their support of the eco-friendly legislation and are now using green coloured biodegradable straws.

Girl using a bioplastic drinking straw

Alternatives to REPA biodegradable straws

Paper straws have been on the market for a number of years, and typically they’re made from 100% recycled paper. The problem is while paper straws are an excellent alternative to plastic straws and are offered in an array of vibrant colours, customers complain of their short lifespan. Typically complaints revolve around the straw being soggy or not being tough enough to handle thicker drinks like milkshakes, smoothies or cocktails. They are also usually more expensive down to the paper processing costs.

Compostable Paper Straws in a Cup

Considerations to make when using biodegradable products

It’s always worth thinking how your business will handle your biodegradable product waste, take for example our REPA biodegradable straws, they will decompose in a matter of weeks under the right conditions, but if they end up in the landfill they may take much longer to degrade. You can find out more about the processes by reading our article on the differences between biodegradable and compostable.