Thought at first the small, little straw may not seem like a lot of trouble but they are part of a huge problem – Plastic does not decompose or biodegrade. As the noise of the public outcry to ban the use of plastic straws grows louder, a young Vietnamese entrepreneur turns to find the solution.
For years, the world has been relying on the oceans as a dumping ground for our plastic waste. Starbucks says, “One of the major issues with plastic straws is that they are too small and lightweight to be captured in modern recycling equipment.” Machines don’t always catch straws so they end up in trash and eventually landfills.
Tran Minh Tien has arrived at the unprecedented use of a grass species called Lepironia Articulata, locally known as co bang, which grows around the Mekong Delta region in southwestern Vietnam – The sedge grass has a hollow stem, so it is naturally straw shaped!
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SE Asia has been killing it on green innovation lately! A few weeks ago we saw banana leaf packaging in Thailand…now, we're seeing grass straws that are being packaged in those banana leaves! AWESOME 👏👏👏 • Make sure to share on Facebook, friends! Let's get this VIRAL! • 🌊 • 📸: Photo captured by Ong Hut Co. , straws created by Tran Minh Tien • 🌊 • #coastalstand#beachcleanup#beachlover#mothernature#plasticpollution#zerowaste#pollution#greenliving#plasticfree#earthdayeveryday#greennews#goodnews#happynews#savetheearth#savetheplanet#noplanetb#climatechange#environmentalactivist#environment#treehugger#globalwarming#refusesingleuse#fuckplastic#grassstraws#onghutco#innovation#vietnam
Tran explains in a video on Facebook by VnExpress International how the grass is turned into straws:
- The grass is grown, harvested (collected), washed, and cut into lengths measuring 20 centimetres (about 8 inches).
- Next, an iron rod is used to clean the inner part of the straws.
- Then, they are washed and rinsed out one more time.
- If they are to be sold fresh, the process is done and they bundle the ready to use straws together using banana leaves.
- If they are to be sold dried there is more work to be done. They must leave the straws under the sun for two to three days and then bake them in an oven.
Currently only available for sale in Vietnam, it’s great see the world taking steps to mitigate plastic’s harmful impacts!