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A simple local solution for straws

Date: 31-Oct-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Once the grain has been harvested rye stalks are left hollow, making them perfect to make drinking straws from.

Once the grain has been harvested rye stalks are left hollow, making them perfect to make drinking straws from.

A French entrepreneur now living in South Australia has come up with an innovative solution to our growing plastic problem by coming up with an alternative drinking straw made from food waste.

Adelaide start-up Mister Rye has developed drinking straws made from the hollow stalks of rye that are left behind after harvesting their grains. These ‘rye-cyclable’ straws are reusable, completely biodegradable in home composting systems and can even be put through the dishwasher.

Plastic straws have grown into a big issue in recent years due to the negative impact they can have on wildlife if not disposed of responsibly. Estimates vary, but many believe Australians could be using billions of straws per year, a portion of which are bound to enter the natural environment.

Whilst plant-based straws made from wheat, rice and bamboo are already available on the market in Australia, all of these products are imported from overseas. This gives Mister Rye a significant advantage, as rye is already grown extensively throughout Australia. 

“We are aiming to replace plastic straws in Australia,” Marion Vigot, co-founder of Mister Rye, told ABC News

“We can make up to 300,000 straws with one hectare of land, so if we want to replace 10 million straws used in Australia, we would need a couple of hectares, but it is definitely possible.”

Mister Rye is aiming to produce one million rye straws from its first harvest, which will take place in December in South Australia’s Riverland.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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