In recent years there has been a much-needed recognition of the impacts caused by our consumption of single-use plastics to the environment, and our own health. While we still have a long way to go, more people than ever are striving to reduce the amount of plastic that reaches our fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Last year, whilst eating our way through South East Asia at small roadside restaurants and night markets, we were overwhelmed by the abundance of disposable cups, straws and cutlery. We quickly realised the benefits of having reusable alternatives- the biggest of them all being that we could enjoy all the amazing food on offer, without feeling guilty about it!
There are many alternatives to plastic, so why have we chosen to use wheat straw?
Wheat, one of oldest cultivated grains and staple ingredient to many people’s diet, is grown in large quantities across the globe. The by-product of the harvested wheat is the stalk of the plant that allows it to stand up. Wheat straw can be collected and used to produce a type of plastic, but don’t worry, this is bioplastic- meaning that it encompasses the same useful properties of conventional plastic but is completely natural and 100% biodegradable. A product made of wheat straw can biodegrade in home compost within a few months, allowing it to be re-used as fertilizer or can be easily recycled into other products. What’s even better is that farmer’s get paid for their waste crop, providing money to local communities and eliminating the need to burn the waste which contributes vast amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. In short, wheat straw plastic is renewable and sustainable all the way from sourcing the material to the disposal of products made from it.
So, it’s environmentally friendly- but are the products user friendly?
The beauty of wheat straw is that it possesses the same versatility and effectiveness of conventional plastics, without the environmental impacts. The material is robust and strong enough to endure even the most trying of adventures. Not only do they have a high heat resistance, products are dishwasher safe, freezer safe and microwave safe making them ideal for everyday use and not just as an alternative to single-use plastic. One of the greatest properties of wheat straw is that it’s lightweight. Using our wheat cutlery set as an example, this makes it ideal for camping and travelling where other light and durable materials, like titanium, are much less affordable.