• These straws are edible
  • The company, based in Seoul, South Korea, has developed what are undoubtedly the world’s first drinking straws made from rice.
  • You can throw them away if you don’t want to eat them
  • “Simply put them in a flower bed, or in a fish tank.”  
  • Rice straws are harder than typical plastic straws and smell a little like rice, but do not affect a drink’s taste in any way.
  • They are made of seven parts rice flour and three parts tapioca powder. The innovative product was born from concerns about the impact of plastic straws on the environment. 
  • South Koreans use approximately 2.6 billion plastic straws every year. 
  • One of the biggest advantages of these rice straws is that they are biodegradable.
  • While it takes as long as 200 years for an ordinary plastic straw to decompose, leaving plastic microbeads behind, a rice straw takes 100 days at most.
  • “When I put a rice straw into a fish tank at home, fish nibbled away the straw in less than a month,
  • In an experiment held by one of Kim’s partners in Indonesia, a rice straw decomposed in seawater in just eight days. 
  • However, these eco-friendly straws come with a higher price tag.
  • Each rice straw costs up to 35 Korean won (around USD 0,03), whereas the retail price of a plastic straw is about one-sixth that amount.
  • The price is what currently blocks the rice straws from being widely used within the country.
  • If we can produce 2 to 2.5 billion rice straws a month, we’ll be able to cut the production cost by around 120 percent.
  • Consumers, who have long enjoyed the convenience of plastic straws, may find rice straws inconvenient to use at first.
  • However, a considerable amount of people is willing to put up with inconvenience for the sake of the environment.
  • In January 2018, China banned imports of recyclable waste such as plastic or paper, leading to a waste crisis in South Korea and other countries.
  • Urgently needing to find a solution, last August the Korean government imposed a ban on single-use plastic cups in cafes and fast-food restaurants.  
  • Straws are just the beginning.