Using and throwing that plastic straw is a great trivial thing, no? Simply how much time does it take anyway? A few a few moments? Chucking that thin little nothing in the can and forgetting supposed to be about it. But the irony is, THAT trivial thing will outlive you, me and several generations to come. And this is something to think about.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are not the buzz words anymore that marilyn and i used to use inside our school speeches. They certainly are a cure to the ecological disaster many of us are sitting on today. And even the tiniest of eco-friendly alternatives to plastic have taken with a crucial role in our fight to protect ourselves.

With this particular thought process, two techies via Trivandrum, Fariq Noushad and Previn Jacob Varghese have got introduced a sustainable alternative to plastic straws – papaya leaf originate!
The duo has introduced an indigenous method to reuse papaya stem spend and make straws which may have a shelf life of as long as six months.

“The stem on the papaya leaf, which usually goes to waste, makes for a good looking natural straw. So, you'll find tied up with 30 farmers from Trivandrum who grow papayas using a total area of 40 acres to procure your stems, ” Fariq tells More suitable India (TBI).
The concept of using papaya stems mushroomed if the two childhood friends have been brainstorming to enter that sustainable industry after employed by around two and a half years inside a software company in Southwest Africa.

“After doing each of our B. tech from Kerala University and employed in the software industry, we studied the economies and realised that nature can be a potential field to tap into. During our research, all of us found a vendor chopping the stem and putting it in coconuts. Most people thought that though papaya is actually widely grown across India, the stems haven't any value. Thus, the raw material is simply reachable and affordable, ” pronounces Fariq.

The research took the duo founding their own organisation ‘Greenikk Sustainable Endeavors Pvt Ltd’ in Trivandrum’s Kochuveli alternative area to process your straws. At present its firm supplies 2, 500 sustainable straws month for month to a juice outlet from the city at Rs THREE per straw.
Testing, Breakdowns & More
The techies embarked on their journey last year with no prior experience to generatte straws and very little knowledge about how exactly the Indian markets function. From finding mentors who guide them in generating the straw durable to conducting numerous experiments, Fariq and also Previn gave their coronary heart, soul and savings to this project. The testing process was done with a farm in Neyyantinkara.
Providing an insight, he says, “We washed the stem in trouble to remove all the particular dust and kept that for drying in sunshine. However, we realised the straws were shrinking and so they tasted bitter. So we added sodium and turmeric in boiled water to shed the taste. Regarding that shrinking problem, we realised they needed limited solar exposure. ”

The controlled drying led them to produce a 3-step process. For the same, they purchased two machines, a water bath and oven from other savings and designed the control drying machine automatically.

Things progressed as soon because the machines came in. To check if their product has been worth selling, they even participated with the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge at IIM Kolkata. Involving entries from 500 innovators, their product was your second runner up.
Fariq and Previn own hired a team involving around ten people to operate the machines and perform the manufacturing process.

Following straws are purchased on the farmers, they are exposed to the warehouse where every single stem is cut in to two halves and cleaned in clean water. There're dried and then soaked in the solution that removes proteins. One more step is packaging. The machines could make 4, 000 durable straws from a day which amounts to be able to almost a lakh each month. The profits are torn equally between the duo and also farmers, thus providing farmers with an extra source of income.

One-time use plastic stuff like straws are extremely harmful to the environment and they take hundreds of years to decompose. Previn and Fariq’s sustainable solution could assistance in eliminating the need for plastic straws into a large extent.
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