February 5

Grass Straws – The Solution from Vietnam


Environmentally friendly, totally safe to consumers' health, and is contributing to reducing plastic waste are all remarkable features that make grass straws become a helpful assistant of humans in making the world a greener place. More than that, what truly makes them well appreciated and widely used around the world, is the great sense of awareness and pioneering in raising the problem of plastic waste that they are establishing.

The genius birth of grass straws

Talking about the birth of the grass straws is referring to efforts to get rid of the obsession with environmental pollution caused by single-use plastic straws in Vietnam and all over the world. However, the advent of this kind of natural item hides more genius and creativity than the act of simply looking for a substitute for plastic.

In 2017, after having visited his hometown garden, a young Vietnamese guy named Tran Minh Tien noticed that the characteristics of a type of grass growing around the house are perfect for a new kind of biodegradable material to make drinking straws. Months later, he became the pioneer who successfully applied Lepironia, a type of sedge grass that grows wildly in acidic, salty wetlands in the Mekong Delta area of Vietnam for producing 100% organic grass straws drinking. Since there, this new eco product has played an important role in replacing harmful plastic straws in the country.

Sedge Grass Field

Sedge grass field - the raw material to make grass drinking straws

Having the shape of a long, hollow tube that is about 3’2 feet high alongside an inner diameter of 0.2-0.4 inch approximately, this type of sedge grass has the perfect toughness to be made into biodegradable straws. And that is what makes Mr. Tien see the potential of a new, non-toxic alternative material for plastic. In addition, with the high level of plastic pollution in the water and increasing awareness of the problem of minimizing disposable plastic utensils, he realizes that this invention is still highly economical. 

Later on, there have been many ways to develop more types of compostable, disposable straws based on this invention: fresh grass straws for local use and their dried versions for storage and export. Also, many manufacturing workshops and farming establishments were built and expanded that helped contribute to promoting the local economy and job creation. 

Now let’s see how those beautiful eco grass straws are made.

From wild grass to a new type of eco-friendly straws that is loved all over the world

Unlike other handicrafts, drinking straws made from sedge grass have a much simpler and faster manufacturing process. Perhaps this is also the reason that to this day, they still meet the increasing needs of the people of the country and the world.

The first step in the production process is selecting and harvesting the qualified raw materials. Sedge grass, which is used as the raw materials in making grass straws drinking, is a wild grass that is widely grown in the western provinces with saline soils and alum contamination of Vietnam. They are easy to grow and can grow really well regardless of sunlight or rain, people only need to plug their stump into the ground and nurture within one and a half years to harvest.

The production process is very simple and causes no harm to the environment. The first thing we need to do is to wash the harvested grass stems from the outside then cut them into equal pieces of size about 20 centimeters (8 inches approximately). Next, we hollow out the inner body with an iron rod, then clean their inner side with water. Next, we soak these semi-finished straws into saltwater, then silver nanocrystals to disinfect bacteria. We will have fresh grass straws right after this step. Finally, we dry them under the sun and drying machines for dried versions in order to increase durability, toughness and extend shelf life. If the fresh grass straws have a storage time of 2 weeks in the refrigerator, the dried grass straws have an expiration date of up to 6 months.

Fresh Grass Straws

The grass stems after harvesting and washing are cut into equal pieces of size about 20 centimeters (8 inches approximately)

Organic grass straws - A great alternative to disposable plastic straws

In addition to not polluting the environment, grass drinking straws are proof that they are an effective alternative to toxic plastic straws in many ways due to their unique features.

Natural properties, safe and eco friendly

Originating from nature, of course, is what makes these disposable or reusable grass straws safe and environmentally friendly in terms of both production and consumption. The raw material, which is a kind of sedge grass that can be grown in large quantities has strong vitality, is perfect for a sustainable and renewable source. Besides, the entire production process, there is no need for any complicated machinery that causes fuel consumption and creates carbon dioxin emission.

Don't people nowadays prefer products from nature? It is the value that these natural straws contribute to the protection of the living environment that will bring high economic value and confidence in the product that not all types of straws are easy to apply.

Durability and convenience in use

Grass straws drinking, when compared to other drinking straws, will not be as sturdy as metal straws, will not be produced to flexible size options such as plastic straws, will not be as luxurious as glass straws, and will not be as cheap as paper straws or plastic straws. Instead, disposable straws made from grass are not too heavy and have a metallic smell, they do not produce micro-plastics that are harmful to human health, they do not have a production process that pollutes the environment, they work well with both hot and cold beverages, hold up for the whole day and never soggy. Grass drinking straws can be used several times for individuals at home and one-time usage in restaurants, bars, cafes, etc.

Biodegradable Straws - Grass Straws

Biodegradable Straws - Grass Drinking Straws

The eco solution from Vietnam

Vietnam's grass straws, which are supported by numerous environmental lovers around the world, represent the awareness and responsibility of the Vietnamese people to the problems that their country has been causing as one of the five countries with the largest amount of plastic waste dumping into the Pacific every year. They prove that Vietnamese people are willing to make efforts to seek, create and pioneer in the work of protecting the environment in the long term in the world. 

Not only does it make sense in terms of offsetting supplies for consumers, but the birth of grass straws is also a sign of more environmentally friendly plastic alternatives that will be found or created in the future. That we will always be able to find solutions to problems of the century if we join hands to realize and strive to find ways to protect our own living environment.

Currently, many countries around the world have started to ban disposable plastic products including plastic straws. That said the eco friendly grass straws from Vietnam will definitely be a great alternative for now and so many years beyond.

More than just an alternative material

Having been used as drinking straws is not the only purpose of sedge grass. In fact, it is a material that is so familiar with Vietnamese people through numerous great handicraft products such as hats, cushions, baskets, thatched roofs, etc. More importantly, being naturally sourced is not only just an addition to the benefits of grass straws, but it also makes sense in terms of economic development and job creation opportunities for local people.

The drinking grass straws were born with much greater value beyond just simply discovering a new alternative solution to plastic straws. They represent the highest consciousness of ending the plastic waste crisis around the world as well as the natural connection between humans to Mother Nature that aims for sustainable development

COBA grass straws and the journey in contributing to the end of plastic straws

Contributing to the end of plastic straws and always aiming at sustainable values, COBA straws fully meet the requirements of quality, hygiene, eco-friendly characteristics and are good for consumer’s health. 

Our drinking straws made of grass and nothing else, 100% natural, no preserve, no chemical, BPA free. We are the very first manufacturer that applies the treatment technology with silver nanocrystals to help completely eliminate mold and bacteria. We also are the pioneer in applying cold drying technology that helps to keep the green color and natural fragrance of the grass. More importantly, we made eco straws with our big love and care. We love the environment, we care about our habitat and the local ecosystem as well, and we love what we have been doing.

By using our eco grass straws, you not only have contributed to repel the plastic straws crisis, ocean pollution, environmental pollution but also contribute to supporting employment and poverty for rural people, promote sustainable development while protecting the ecosystem and habitat for the red-headed crane, a rare species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.

Together, we can make a difference, all are for a greener, cleaner, and better world!


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