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Biodegradable straw material to debut in Asia

Mitsubishi Chemical and Thai PTT develop alternative that dissolves in air and water

A Starbucks customer places a straw in his iced coffee in the U.S. city of Philadelphia. Straws have become a symbol of the global movement to reduce plastic waste.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings and Thai state oil group PTT have combined two types of biodegradable plastic into a new, stronger material they say will reduce a source of waste filling the world's oceans -- drinking straws.

Straws have become a symbol of the movement away from single-use plastics. Big multinational restaurant chains like Starbucks and McDonald's are phasing them out, creating a need for environmentally sound alternatives.

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