Plastic! It’s everywhere. It is in our home; it is in our pockets; it is in our bloodstreams. But how much do we know about it? It has been found that approximately 80 lakh tons of plastic is dumped in the ocean. If the situation remains the same, by 2050, we will see more plastic than marine bodies. Out of 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced per annum, 25 million is left to flow into the ocean. That is equal to dumping one garbage truck on plastic into the ocean every 60 seconds.
Sounds strange! But do we have a solution to it? Bengaluru based start-up Bambrew has got the alternative to plastic and thereby the answer to the plastic issue. As the name suggests, Bambrew manufactures bamboo straws, cutlery, and packaging materials. Plastic straws contribute to over 30 percentage of the plastic waste, and Bambrew is striving to stop its usage via bamboo straws.
The question you might be curious to know is why Bamboo? Why not some other product? Bamboo is truly a wonder of nature. Bamboo is the largest member of a grass family and not a tree. It can grow up to one meter in twenty-four hours and has a hardness higher than steel. Bamboo is incredibly stronger with the tensile strength of 28,000 pounds per square inch. It has incredible strength to weight ratio. It helps to fight global climate change. It is making a name for itself as a viable solution that is both remarkably useful and environmentally friendly. No wonder why Bamboo is called a “Miracle plant.”
To accomplish the mission to manufacture Bamboo straws, Mr. Vaibhav Anant, Founder of Bambrew, traveled to Northeast. Bamboo is available in abundance in Northeast. There he worked with the tribal people. A self-help group of 20 to 25 tribal people was formed, and they were trained to use the machinery. They were also promised the commission for their work leading to an employment opportunity for the tribal people. Their monthly earnings raised from Rs. 1000-1500 per month to Rs. 10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month. A win-win situation for the tribes, Bambrew, and nature.
Bambrew has been supplying the straws to Zomato, The Lalit Hotels, Byg Brewsky, Big Pitcher, Bangalore Brew Works, and Arbor Brewing Company as per the founder. The average demand for straws from these brands is approximately 5000 straws for 3 months. The coffee giant Starbucks has announced that it will eliminate the usage of plastic straws from all of its cafes globally by 2020. McDonald’s is also testing plastic straws alternatives. Burger King said that they would begin to roll out the biodegradable straws in the U.K this September. Apart from the food industry, Alaska Airlines has also announced that it will stop using plastic coffee stirrers. Their usage of plastic stirrers was around 22 billion.
Majority of the firms are going plastic-free, and we are ready to witness a change for a greater good. Indeed, a substantial move towards a sustainable lifestyle!