New zero-waste option sees straws made from wild grass

Eco 04/06/2019

In a bid to ditch the plastic, people around the world are getting rid of plastic things that they don't actually need or finding an eco-friendly alternative.

When it comes to straws, it is something many can live without. But for some, straws are an absolute necessity. While paper straws have seen a surge in popularity lately, many have criticised them for their lack of durability - in terms of them getting soggy.

Metal straws have been popular too, they are reusable and have the ease of being washable. But some clever people in Vietnam have discovered that Vietnamese wild grass works great as a straw!

The grass has a hollow stem, so it is naturally already straw shaped. The straws come in two versions, one being dried and another fresh. 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.

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 the company. They are also compostable, free of chemicals and preservatives, and are affordable.