Grass Drinking Straws Are Vietnam’s Zero-Waste Option For The Plastic Problem
As concerns about the plastic crisis mount, one of the items that must go are plastic straws. This is not as easy a task as it seems it could be. Many people rely on straws or prefer them, for a variety of reasons. Therefore, an eco-friendly option to replace plastic has become a necessity.
Several ideas have come about in response to this growing demand. People all over the world have come up with new, more sustainable materials to make straws from. One of these ingenious solutions comes from Vietnam which recently released a straw made of wild grass. It has quickly become a grand success and anyone who uses one, or finds out about them, absolutely loves them!
This innovative idea uses a species of grass called Lepironia Articulata (sedge grass), 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 already straw shaped. The straws come in two versions, one being dried and another fresh.
Hoe Grass Drinking Straws are made:
- The grass is grown, harvested (collected), washed, and cut into lengths measuring 20 centimeters (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 dried version can be stored at room temperature for up to twelve months.
Both kinds of grass straws are edible and chewing them after meals can actually help clean your teeth and gums. They are also compostable, free of chemicals and preservatives, and are affordable.