Evanesce, a Sustainable PR client, was recently featured in Total Food Service for their sustainable line of straws and packaging. 

As with so many visionary entrepreneurs, Doug Horne saw a problem and was determined to solve it. Horne had previously worked in politics and fought to promote earth-friendly values; after starting his own company, he found an outlet to advocate for those principles even further.

Horne launched Evanesce in 2016, which promotes a new future without single-use plastics. The company primarily works with molded starch and up-cycled plant materials, which are more sustainable petroleum substitutes, to create food packaging and serviceware.

Evanesce products are developed by a dedicated research and development team to ensure that everything is free from harmful chemicals and engineered to the highest standards. “Our goal is to create food packaging and serviceware that can decompose in 90 days or less,” Horne added.

Their innovations are key ingredients for creating products that have a positive impact on the environment through their compostable characteristics. “It looks and feels like a traditional straw would,” Horne said; “these components allow for the company’s ‘#dirttodirt’ initiative to come to life, as it’s designed to degrade over time.”

Products that are advertised as low-impact or environmentally friendly can often be deceiving. With the various types of plastics and the assortment of recycling bins, complications often arise when a company tries their hand at recycling or composting. These issues are being reduced or eliminated due to Evanesce’s materials, and their entirely compost safe composition. “The only way to really tackle the amount of food that becomes waste in landfills is to have fully compostable foodservice items. [With Evanesce] a consumer takes everything that’s left, throws it into a green bin, doesn’t have to think, and sends it to a proper compost operation to go back to the dirt that it all started from,” Horne explained.

Evanesce’s solution promotes the goodwill of the users and their company, with the added benefit of having a morally sound environmental conscious. Many manufacturers produce lines that claim to be produced from natural materials. In many cases, paper straw companies, produce products that dissolve in drinks and are sprayed with chemicals that make it impossible to compost. These materials and chemicals, sometimes carcinogenic, can be misleading when labeled as helpful, healthy alternatives.

“We want something that looks and feels like what people are used to, acts the same, but is made from corn starch so they don’t have to worry about where it’s going to end up,” Horne said.

While sustainability is an attractive feature, a viable product for the restaurant and foodservice operator must make sense financially. With that in mind, the economics behind Evanesce’s cutlery, straws, cups, and other products make sense from a P&L standpoint. “Our goal was to produce a line that did not stray too far from the mean price point of regular serviceware. The greatest thing about it is from a cost standpoint, it’s less than all the products that are compostable on the market,” Horne said. “The goal is to get to a point where we’re just selling the best straw in all the market, without having to describe the material it’s made from.”

Although a lot of compostable materials are traditionally flimsy, or can’t withstand grease or pressure, Evanesce prides themselves on the sturdiness and efficiency of their innovations. “Unlike some of the other paper stuff out there, if you put a hamburger and some fries on it, it’s not going to fall onto the floor. It’s a very solid, rigid product,” Horne concluded.

Being trustworthy and light on the conscious is at the core of what Evanesce products mean to consumers. The compost-friendly aspect, without trading the valuable simplicity of typical serviceware makes the process straightforward; and in a world with an uncertain future for nature and wildlife, every choice, —even the size of a straw— can make an impact.

For more information on Evanesce and their products, call 1-800-691-9158 for the sales team, or send an e-mail through their website

This was originally published on Total Food Service on August 12, 2022.