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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

UK Engineer Invents Alternative to the Straw

Icebloc is a new eco-friendly alternative to straws that stops ice and bits in your drink getting in the way. Made of plants, re-usable and compostable, the clever design fits any glass and let’s your drink’s flow.

UK based Adrian Potter has invented a new drinks gadget to take on the single-use straw. He came up with the clever design at the age of 17 while struggling with his gin and tonic at his local golf club. There was so much crushed ice, lemon and garnish in his G&T, he couldn’t take a swig. He fabricated a design out of cardboard on the spot that enabled him to finally enjoy his drink. It wasn’t until 30 years later, spurred on by the need to replace plastic straws that Adrian started to perfect his design and research eco-friendly materials.


80% of people Icebloc surveyed don’t like ice getting in the way of a good cold drink, but plastic straws are choking our oceans and paper ones go soggy. Besides, drinking through a straw blocks the aroma and flavour of your drink. Adrian says: “If you want your drink to flow, the Icebloc gives you a better drinking experience”.

The Icebloc is made of CPLA a plant-based bioplastic which uses 50% less energy to produce than oil-based plastic. It’s treated to withstand dishwasher temperatures, so the Icebloc can be reused again and again, and then composted when done.

Perfect for Pimms

Icebloc tested with Pimms in 2 pubs last summer - with sales of Pimms increasing 73%. Paul Griffiths, Operations Manager of Red Mist Leisure’s 10 pubs says: “Customers at The Duke of Cambridge in Tilford loved the environmental message and preferred using an Icebloc in their Pimms over a straw. We’re excited to see a product that could eliminate the majority of straws from our business, without creating additional waste”. Pimms branded Iceblocs are available on Pimms’ website.

Straws block flavour

Diffords Guide, the bartender’s bible, states that “Drinks taste better when it is consumed from the rim of the glass rather than a straw, as most of the flavour comes from the drink’s aroma”. So Adrian and his team insist the Icebloc gives a better drinking experience over using a straw.

Supporting Marine Conservation

To underline its sustainability credentials, 1p for every Icebloc sold is donated to the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading marine charity, working for seas full of life (

Anne Thwaites of MCS says “We’re delighted to team up with Icebloc which is providing a re-usable solution to fighting plastic pollution in our oceans. At MCS, we know that changing behaviour is the most effective way to turn the tide on plastic pollution. We need the help of businesses such as Icebloc to bring about the cultural changes required to clean up our world.”


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