If you care about the environment, you’ve probably sworn off using plastic straws. But what’s the alternative? Paper straws often don’t hold up to liquids, typically resulting in a soggy mess in the glass before you’ve finished your beverage.
Now, a new Kickstarter campaign might have the answer. Startup La Couleur Monochrome, founded by Stanislav Poliakof, is trying to raise $27,747 to bring their grass straws to market.
Yes, that’s right: grass. Hollow-stemmed grass, to be specific. It’s grown and hand-harvested in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, then cut into 20-centimeter sections and disinfected (through boiling, not using harsh chemicals).
The finished product is suitable for both hot and cold drinks, and here’s the best part: The straw decomposes in only 15 days.
You can support the project until Jan. 31. For a contribution of $6, you’ll get 100 straws in a reusable zip-up bag. The more you donate, the more straws you get!
And if you pledge $6,660 or more, you get an all-expenses-paid trip to Saigon, Vietnam, where you can witness the manufacturing process in the Mekong Delta. The package includes a year’s supply of grass straws.
Buyers can choose either dried-out straws, which can last for up to one year when stored at room temperature, or fresh straws, which can remain in the fridge for up to six weeks. According to the startup, both kinds of straws are suitable for hot and cold drinks, but the fresh straws give “a slight scent of fresh-cut grass without changing the drink’s taste.”
Poliakof, who was born in the former Soviet Union and is now based in Vietnam, discovered the eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws while traveling the world with his girlfriend.
He says he is currently able to produce one million straws per month, but he aims to increase production to 10 million straws per month in July 2020. (At that point, he plans to only send out orders once a month to create a more sustainable shipping program.)
“The costs per straw are pretty reasonable,” Poliakof writes on Kickstarter. “We want to offer the world an affordable alternative, while paying our workers a fair salary, harvesting only sustainable amounts of grass while maintaining high hygiene and quality standards.”
We all need to do more to help the environment, so why not start with ditching the plastic straws?