Taiwanese startup ramping up production of sugarcane straws

Taiwanese startup ramps up production of sugarcane straws as plastic straws are set to be phased out next year

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/14
By: Keoni Everington,0 Taiwan News, Staff Writer

S0ugarcane straws. (Photo from @100plasticfree Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As a ban on single-use plastic straws is set to go into effect in July of next year, a Taiwanese startup is ramping up production of its biodegradable straws made from sugarcane and is already shipping its products worldwide.

The name of the new venture is “100 plastic free” (100%植) and the founders have turned down requests from Chinese corporations to buy out the technology and instead are insisting on keeping research and development in Taiwan. The company’s objective is to fight pollution by making straws from plant fibers which can be digested by microorganisms in the ocean, thus greatly expediting their decomposition compared to plastic straws.

Based in the Zhongxing Xincun section of the Central Taiwan Innovation Campus, the company began researching plant fibers as replacements for plastics last year. The inventor and founder, Huang Chien-chung (黃千鐘) , told ETtoday that in addition to developing straws made from sugarcane fibers, the company is also working with a French winery on developing products made from grape waste and wheat chaff.

Huang said that the sugarcane straws his company has developed can replace plastic straws and can fully decompose in the soil within six months. He said, when the group first started modifying plastic straw machinery to produce the sugarcane straws, others doubted them and said, “This can’t possibly be done.” However, after multiple modifications were made on the machinery, they succeeded.

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