Kerala

An eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws

Bamboo straws made from Gigantochloa andamanica

Bamboo straws made from Gigantochloa andamanica

At a time when efforts are being taken to weed out single-use plastics, the University of Kerala is setting an example by showing that eco-friendly alternatives are possible.

The Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) under the Department of Botany and the Department of Biotechnology have come out with bamboo straws as a viable substitute to the ubiquitous plastic straws.

While bamboo straws are not a new concept, these straws serve another purpose: raising awareness about the flora of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The straws are made from the hollow internodes of Gigantochloa andamanica, an economically important bamboo species of the Andamans.

This bamboo species is one of the ‘residents’ of the Andaman-Nicobar Plant Species Conservatory on the Botany department campus at Kariavattom.

Dubbed 'An Eco-Friendly Bamboo Straw,' the straws come in paper boxes with the scientific name of the species and other details on the back.

Though not for sale, the bamboo straws are given away as gifts to visitors to the university so as to create awareness about substitutes for single-use plastics, A. Gangaprasad, Professor and Director, CBC, Department of Botany, said. ''The advantage of such eco-friendly products are that they can be cleaned and reused unlike plastic straws which are thrown away after use,'' he said.  

In the Andamans, Gigantochloa andamanica is widely used in the cottage industry, says Dr. Gangaprasad.

The Botany department had established the conservatory two years ago for conserving rare plant species from the eastern islands. Many of the 'inhabitants' of the conservatory are endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar, and finding a secure second home for them is important from the point of view of conservation and scientific research.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:52:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/an-eco-friendly-alternative-to-plastic-straws/article65592592.ece