Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

2 months

Professor Makes 100% Biodegradable Straws Using Coconut Leaves, Has Sold 20 Million

Professor Makes 100% Biodegradable Straws Using Coconut Leaves, Has Sold 20 Million

Bengaluru-based Professor Saji Varghese founded a startup called Sunbird Straws, which sells eco-friendly straws made from coconut leaves. So far, the company has sold over 20 million pieces worldwide.

Last July, India banned single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, plates, knives, and cutlery. But much before the ban, this Bengaluru-based startup Sunbird Straws has been doing its bit to curb plastic pollution with its unique innovation.

Saji Varghese, an associate professor at Christ University Bengaluru, makes straws from coconut leaves. The idea to make such straws came to him when he noticed several dry coconut leaves lying on the campus ground.

“Each year a coconut tree naturally loses up to six of its leaves. These leaves are simply burnt due to the difficulty in their disposal. So in 2017, I decided to create an eco-friendly product using coconut leaves,” says the 51-year-old.

In just two years, he developed unique coconut leaf straws. As per Saji, nearly 200 straws can be made from one fallen coconut front.

Created using a chemical-free process, the patented multi-layered straw has natural anti-fungal and hydrophobic outer and inner walls. These are 100 percent biodegradable and can be used in any drink for up to three hours. Each straw is priced at Rs 5.

Saji claims to have received orders for more than 20 million straws from over 10 countries and has been honoured globally. He also employs 100 rural women from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka to produce the drinking straws.

Watch how Saji makes straws from coconut leaves in this video:

YouTube player

Edited by Pranita Bhat

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image