WinCup, Inc. has become an official program partner of the Green Sports Alliance (GSA), an environmentally and socially focused nonprofit organization that convenes stakeholders from around the sporting world to promote healthy, sustainable communities. The announcement comes as a growing list of professional sports teams and venues have selected WinCup’s phade®, the world’s first marine biodegradable, home and industrial compostable drinking straw, as their exclusive straw. Made with PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a biopolymer derived from the fermentation of canola oil, the phade® brand is a breakthrough line of sustainable straws and stirrers that maintain the feel and user experience of traditional plastic equivalents while delivering superior sustainable benefits.
The new partnership supports GSA’s mission to use the influence of sports to promote sustainable practices across the globe. The organization’s members include over 300 professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, and venues representing millions of fans.
“Sports have an enormous influence on our culture as millions of fans follow the lead of their favorite teams’ sustainability choices, from energy and water use to drinking straws,” said Roger McClendon, Executive Director of GSA. “That’s why we’re so pleased to partner with WinCup. The company’s commitment to developing innovative sustainable foodservice products is already making an impact at pro sports venues and events through its phade® straws and stirrers, and we look forward to sharing the benefits of compostable and biodegradable products, as alternatives to petroleum plastics, through this partnership.”
While relatively new to the marketplace, phade® has already become the sustainable straw of choice for several professional sports venues, teams and events, including SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Gillette Stadium in New England, the Atlanta Falcons and the 2021 PGA Championship in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
The development of phade® involved a rigorous testing and certification process. TÜV AUSTRIA, a globally recognized independent third-party certifying body, certified phade® as both industrial and home compostable in a matter of months. TÜV 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 industrial compostable.
“The Green Sports Alliance is a tremendously influential organization that engages with both professional and collegiate sports leagues, teams and venues to promote best practices in sustainability,” said Michael Winters, WinCup President and Chief Revenue Officer. “As a result, millions of fans experience the most advanced sustainable practices while cheering on their favorite team and take those ideas back into the community. phade® straws and stirrers are a perfect example of something simple every sports fan can use at home or when dining out and know they are helping to protect the environment. We could not be prouder to be GSA’s partner to create a more sustainable future for sports fans, businesses and consumers across the globe.”
WinCup has also won numerous awards for the development and launch of phade®, including the 2021 Innovation in Foodservice Award for Sustainability Solutions from the National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief and 2020 Innovation in Bioplastics Award from the Bioplastics Division of PLASTICS (The Plastics Industry Association). Most recently, WinCup was recognized out of a pool of more than 4,000 global entries by Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards as a finalist in the Consumer Products and Enduring Impact categories and as an honorable mention in the World Changing Ideas -North America and General Excellence categories.
“Every day, there are new innovations that promise a greener outcome, but what makes phade® unique is PHA, which acts as a food source for bacteria, allowing for faster decomposition in various bacteria rich environments” explained Brad Laporte, WinCup Chief Executive Officer. “Paper straws can often contain harmful chemicals if not disposed of properly and petroleum-based straws can take centuries to decompose. Our phade® straws can biodegrade in a matter of months.”
WinCup’s focus on sustainable solutions was bolstered in September 2020 when Los Angeles-based global private investment 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.