Have you used – and thrown away – a plastic straw today?
As more cities and restaurants move to ban or remove plastic straws and similar products to reduce waste and rid the world’s oceans and rivers of plastic, businesses and residents alike are looking for alternatives.
Enter the rice straw, offering an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution with far better user experience to paper or reusable metal straws, says Rice Straw Technologies’ JK Park, one of four co-founders of from the Lower Mainland who are all passionate about making a difference for future generations.
“We have launched our straws to terrific response, but our vision is to create a full line of eco-friendly, compostable rice products that really have the power to make a difference for the food services industry, consumers and ultimately, the environment,” Park says.
Seeing the need for plastic alternatives, the Rice Straw Technologies team has been working for several years to provide Canadians with the same alternatives that are currently used by major corporations in nine other countries. Harnessing innovative rice-based technology created in Korea, the company began distributing rice straws here in January, and the buzz is growing. Here’s why:
The rice straw technology is a better alternative for several reasons:
- Rice straws are an eco-friendly alternative that are 100 per cent natural, biodegradable, compostable, edible and affordable.
- The unique technology allows for straws in all colours and sizes, including wider straws to accommodate drinks such as bubble tea, and can even include custom logos.
- Consumers prefer the rice straws to paper straws that can begin breaking down, creating an unwelcome taste and texture. Metal straws can also be challenging in how they feel and how easy they are to clean.
- “Our cost is significantly lower than what others can provide,” Park adds, noting that because rice is easily grown around the world, the straws are much more affordable than alternatives such as straws made from sugarcane.
- The Rice Straw Technologies team is keen to share the rewards of this innovate alternative, donating partial proceeds to environmentally focused organizations, Park says, inviting interested non-profits to get in touch.
“We like to say, one business can’t change the world, but it takes one business to start changing the world,” Park says.