Stellenbosch University student Leila Siljeur has created her own brand of edible and environmentally-friendly straws.
The "Eat Me Straw" is an edible and biodegradable straw made from naturally decomposing ingredients, Siljeur explains.
I started playing around with jelling agents and flavouring agents. I was messing around in the kitchen and in the lab.— Leila Siljeur, Stellenbosch University student
The second-year chemical engineering student recently won R50,000 for her invention at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation National Jamboree.
The money will go towards developing her product and business plan.
Siljeur’s straws come in various flavours and don’t become mushy when you put them in a wet substance
She says she was moved to create the straw alternative after seeing horrific pictures of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose.
The great thing is, even if you do not want to eat it, you can simply throw it out into the garden and it biodegrades.— Leila Siljeur, Stellenbosch University student
The young entrepreneur aims to have her straws mass-produced after the product is certified and tested by the South African Bureau of Standards.
We currently have a limited production scale.— Leila Siljeur, Stellenbosch University student
She hopes to have her straws in supermarkets and restaurants in the near future to help reduce plastic pollution.
Straws are currently retailing at R2 each. The price will drop much lower once she begins producing in mass.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to contact her for more details.
Listen to the discussion on Lunch with Pippa Hudson:
Image: Stellenbosch University on Facebook.
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Maties student wants to bring her edible straws to a restaurant near you