Straws made of coconut palm leaves could be sustainable alternatives of plastic

Plastic brings many cultural advantages and offers future innovative and clinical advances. A primary concern is about its disposal and diversity, which includes a collection of waste in the landfills and its natural habitats, a physical problem for the world, discharge of chemicals from plastics products and the potential for plastics to shift chemicals to wildlife and humans. Maybe the main superseding concern, which is understood throughout this volume, is that our present utilisation isn't sustainable. To battle this plastic danger and trade plastic items used for utilisation, a Bengaluru based startup founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Manigandan Kumarappan came up with eco-friendly cutlery to replace single-use plastic. Evlogia's first flagship product, Leafy straws, made from waste coconut palm leaves had received the fastest patent in India.

Team Evlogia

Founder of Evlogia, Manigandan believes an enormous amount of agriculture waste is created in India. If it get upcycled, it can be changed over as a valuable item. Hence, she decided to introduce the Leafy straws, natural single-use drinking straws produced using fallen coconut palm leaves. They have tied-up with groups of workers in farms who gather this raw material and later send to the company.

Coconut palm leaves straws have many benefits first and foremost is that they are totally natural, and don't go through any chemical process. Thus, it can be composted in any landfill safely after use. Likewise, by upcycling the agriculture waste which is generally scorched, we can also eliminate carbon emission.

Manigandan said, "Plastic straws are one of the biggest contributors to single-use plastic pollution, and the amount of ocean and land trash generated just by single-use straws is way too much that we can imagine. Also, single-use drinking straw is much-needed cutlery, especially in a post-COVID era, to make sure it is hygienic while sipping a juice in a public place. Paper straws are one alternative, but they turn soggy, and most customers don't like it. Hence introducing a biodegradable straw that can work with no flaws is the need of the hour."

She further said, "When plastic straws enter the ocean, they break down into micro-plastics. These harmful smaller pieces are ingested by birds and marine wildlife unintentionally, and it's almost impossible to avoid. In fact, a study showed that 100 per cent of testing sea turtles had ingested plastic and plastic straws which are the most found ocean trash than any other forms of plastic."

Manigandan Kumarappan's Evlogia has received the patent grant in India in record time through the startup India scheme apart from receiving many prestigious awards in a short time.

One must always use, and support products made sustainably and responsibly using resources that are not harming the environment. In the beginning, these kinds of alternative solutions may cost little more than plastic counterparts, but with wider adoptions when the production and usage increases, the cost will come down.

Manigandan said, "Climate crisis needs to be attended on a war footing basis of the entire human race with single highest focus. We have already exploited too much that nature gifted us, any more exploitation without responsible measures will impact not just people but every single living being on the earth. It is the responsibility of each one of us to contribute, by all means, to address the climate crisis so we can leave a peaceful environment for the future generation."

She also mentions an important message to the young generation and said, "Mother earth is common to every living being, and she will not tolerate the selfish behaviour of one at the cost of others. Whatever you do, please show respect to fellow living beings and be responsible in every act of yours."

The environment is dying if we all change one habit of ours, it will make a big difference. Let us all switch to eco-friendly living.

Written by: Vartika Prasad