By Patrick Huynh and Edwin Lui
Innovation | Environment
The required ethics forms have been submitted for this project.
Straws impact the environment greatly; Plastic straws are increasingly being manufactured. Metal straws have been entered the market but too many may be an issue in the future. In this project, a straw was designed and produced that can be edible and biodegradable. The straws were composed of kale or cabbage, glutinous rice flour, and beeswax.
Three experiments were conducted: The edibility, usability, and shelf life for the kale and cabbage straws. Main points that were on mind other than edibility and being biodegradable were lasting for at least a month before severe degradation and being as thin and cost-effective as possible. Ultimately, a straw was created that, if prepared correctly, is affordable, thin and can last for up to four weeks.
The straws were produced by first adding water to the plant materials (kale or cabbage) and blending it finely. Then, the substance was strained and glutinous rice flour was added to the mixture. After, the substance was moulded onto a chopstick to resemble the shape of a straw and the outer shell was thinned so the straw wouldn’t be so thick. The final step of producing the straw was coating it with beeswax to ensure it would be waterproof.
The result of this project can be an extremely useful innovation as companies who mass-produce these could help the environment greatly. These straws would be an excellent solution to improving the environment.