The Cambridge-based Green Circle Dine Ware is creating straws from paper instead of plastic.

“We are the first Canadian manufacturer of paper drinking straws,” said founder Geet Sheth. “Ninety-nine per cent of the straws people use today are made of plastic, which is the worst kind of plastic you can find.”

Their paper straws, however, are biodegradable and compostable and use paper sourced from Canada that’s certified and approved.

“If you’re sipping through a straw that’s not FDA-approved you’re putting your health at risk,” said Sheth. “There may be chemicals in that paper that you’re not supposed to use.”

Green Circle says they’re aiming to make the entire process sustainable. The packaging they use is a sustainable model, rather than plastic packaging.

“Full producer responsibility is what we’re advocating for,” said Jon Aresenault, the director or waste management services for the Region of Waterloo. “This is consistent across municipalities in the province.”

The Ontario government recently announced it’s looking to ban single-use plastics in an effort to reduce non-biodegradable waste entering landfills and waterways.

“We see quite a number of straws in the waste stream,” said Arsenault.

Green Circle says they’re aiming to create a product that won’t harm the environment no matter where it is.

“The product that we make is compostable,” said Sheth “It can go into a commercial environment. We're making a product that'll be marine-biodegradable too.”