Scientists have given us 12 years or less to save the earth from an irreversible climate change. The main contributors to this alarming warning are the extensive use of plastic products because it takes hundreds of years to decompose. Since the news, people have been taking initiatives to reduce their contribution to plastic waste. One of the popular movements is to find substitutes for plastic straws.
Joining the cohort is Misamis Occidental, an enterprise development and research centre in Pasalubong, Philippines. Making full use of the abundant bamboo resources naturally found in the mountainous town, the enterprise found a way to market reusable bamboo straws.
This became a quick hit among the tourists and locals alike because not only is it eco-friendly, it also costs relatively less. Similarly, a cafe owner in another part of the Philippines became famous online for their use of ‘Lukay’ straws.
Lukay means palm leaves or coconut fronds in Filipino. Sara Tiu, the owner of Cafe Editha has been inspired to make the incredible change from a recent trip to Corregidor Island in Siargao. Initially, Sara adapted to metal and paper straws as alternatives.
Unfortunately, the effort wasn’t well-received among the patrons of her cafe. “Customers didn’t like using it”, she mentioned.
Hence she had to look for different alternatives that are not only eco-friendly but appeals to her patrons as well.
That was when she came across lukay. When asked in a local interview about the process of making the straws, she said, “We bought fresh buko and they just cut lukay, then made it into straws. So we asked them to teach us [because] we were very impressed with the idea.”
Both Misamis’ and Sara’s effort to turn natural resources into sustainable products have received tremendous support from the public and authorities alike.