There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Our world is dying. Within the issue of climate change, one of the major concerns is the amount of plastic usage. One of the ways to combat it is to cut down on our use of plastic straws, for example.
Of course, this is easier said than done as many use the item for a variety of reasons. To replace the plastic material, a young Vietnamese entrepreneur, Tran Minh Tien managed to produce wild grass straws instead. How innovative.
Tran Minh Tien is the owner of Ống Hút Cỏ., a company that makes two kinds of straws out of sedge grass.
Fuelled by his desire to help in the battle against plastic usage, he came up with the idea of using a species of grass called Lepironia Articulata, locally known as co bang, which grows around the Mekong Delta region in southwestern Vietnam.
With this ingenious solution, straws are made of wild grass which serves as a sustainable and eco-conscious material as well.
The sedge grass has a hollow stem, so it is naturally already straw shaped. The straws come in two versions, one being dried and another fresh.
The fresh version can be stored for up to two weeks, refrigerated and kept in airtight bags. If you want to make the fresh straws last even longer, the company’s website suggests boiling the straws with some salt, letting dry, and then storing in a cool dry place.The dried version can be stored at room temperature for up to six months.
Both kinds of grass straws are edible and chewing them after meals can actually help clean your teeth and gums, according to Ống Hút Cỏ. They are also compostable, free of chemicals and preservatives, and are affordable.
They sell them in bundles of 100 with one dry straw costing 1,000 Vietnamese Dong (S$0.059), and one fresh straw costing 600 Vietnamese Dong (S$0.036). Sadly, these grass straws are currently only available for sale in Vietnam at the moment.
Zero Waste Saigon is another such company in Vietnam that sells grass straws made from the Mekong Delta’s wild grass. Their straws are from a different manufacturer than Ống Hút Cỏ but still with the same mission and values.
It’s really great that options like these wild grass straws are now on the market as an alternative to the metal, silicone and even pasta straws we’ve seen.
While we’re not ready to let go of the idea of going without a straw so soon, what we can do is find an eco-friendly option such as these grass straws.
Price: 100 Dry Straws: VND 1,000 (S$0.059) | 100 Fresh Straws: VND 600 (S$0.036)
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