Vietnamese Company Introduced Straws Made Of Wild Grass Instead Of Plastic

By. Ran

Use of polythene and plastic has been a major environmental issue in the world for a long time now. The huge piles of polythene on barren lands and the sea have nefarious effects on both humans and animals. It is crucial that we take necessary action to reduce the use of polythene and plastic.

Fortunately, Vietnam has come up with an incredible idea to reduce the use of plastic.  They have found a cheap and eco-friendly alternative for plastic straws. The young Vietnamese entrepreneur Tran Minh Tien owns Ong Hut Co, a company that produces straws using sedge grass. The production of wild grass straws is based on using Lepironia Articulata, also known as co bang. The grass grows well around the Mekong Delta region in southwestern Vietnam.

Image credit: Ong Hut Co

This type of grass has a hollow stem, and Tien makes both dried and fresh straws. The grass is grown, harvested and washed.  Tien and his team cut 8-inch pieces and use an iron rod to clean the hollow part. And the straws are washed again.

Image credit: Ong Hut Co

The grass is left under the sun for 2-3 days, and then it’s baked in the oven. The straws are sold wrapped in banana leaves. Fresh grass straws should be used within a couple of weeks, and they work best when stored in airtight bags in the fridge. You can also boil them in salty water, and let them dry naturally. If done so, the straws should be stored in a dry and cool place.

Dried straws should be used within six months if kept at room temperature. Tien explains that the grass is edible, and customers can chew it after meals to clean their teeth and gums. No preservatives, no chemicals, no toxins.

The straws are sold in bundles of 100. One dry straw costs 1,000 Vietnamese dong ($0.043) and one fresh straw costs 600 Vietnamese dong ($0.026). Tien’s straws are only available in Vietnam.

Vietnam has another company which serves a similar purpose. Zero Waste Saigon sells grass straws made from the wild grass that grows in the Mekong Delta.