Ever since straws became illegal (kidding...but not really), we’ve felt as torn as Natalie Imbruglia. On the one hand, we want to save the planet! On the other, we love drinking out of straws. Seriously, how else would we guzzle iced coffee while protecting our teeth from stains?
So, when we discovered that a Vietnamese-based company is turning to creatively sustainable straws, we were very intrigued. And you might be surprised by the materials the brand has chosen.
Ống Hút Cỏ is making straws out of wild grass. Yes, wild grass! It’s a type of vegetation called sedge grass that grows with a naturally hollow stem. Native to the Mekong Delta in southwestern Vietnam, this plant lends itself naturally to the job of a straw. Best of all, it means the utensils are 100 percent biodegradable.
According to Green Matters, once the grass is harvested and cut into straw-size tubes, it’s made food-safe through a multi-step washing process. You can use the fresh straws for about two weeks (but store ’em in the fridge!) or preserve them for longer by boiling them in salt water and then letting them dry. According to Ống Hút Cỏ, they won’t change the flavor of what you’re drinking, and you can even chew them after eating to help clean your teeth and gums.
Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure the grass straws aren’t available in the U.S. (the website suggests they don’t ship well over long distances). For now, it seems they’re only being sold to local restaurants...but we have seen straws made from avocado pits in our own local coffee shop. Truth be told, we’ll do anything for white teeth and a clean ocean—even if it means sipping iced coffee through an actual piece of grass.