In an effort to cut waste, a café in the Philippines has eliminated plastic straws and only uses biodegradable ones made from coconut leaves.
Siargao is a tear-shaped island in Surigao del Norte, Philippines blessed with water as blue as Gatorade and palm trees as far as the eye can see. Its businesses pave the way for its locals to be more environmentally conscious.
Café Editha located in Dapa made rounds in social media for using “lukay” or local palm leaves as their straws. Sarah Tiu, the Café’s manager said that she got the idea when she went on a tour to Corregidor Island in Siargao.
According to Tiu, her family bought fresh coconuts and the locals simply turned the leaves into straws. She was impressed with the idea and asked the locals to teach her how to make it.
Tiu and her staff make the unique straw every morning in the café. It takes less than two minutes two complete a single straw.
Tiu added that the café already tried many alternatives to get rid of plastic straws since the establishment wants to minimize or even eradicate its plastic consumption. However, their customers did not like using paper and stainless straws.
As of writing, Café Editha’s post on Facebook about their straw initiative has reached more than 27,000 shares, 16,000 likes, and 1,200 comments. Aside from the straw, the café also uses banana leaves as a lid for takeout drinks. The Cafe has recently added a “Bring your own Tumbler” discount campaign! It encourages its customers to bring their own tumblers and tote bags.
More cafes and restaurants are leaning towards more environmentally-friendly options in their establishments to curb the worsening plastic crisis. The Philippines has ranked as the world’s 3rd largest contributor to plastic.
“Marine pollution arising from plastic debris and other forms of garbage choking our waterways worsen our environmental problems,” said Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, adding that the plastic problem has been causing harm in the country’s waterways, especially during the rainy season.
Here’s an instructional video of how to make straws out of coconut leaves.