• This straw is not just any straw.
  • It is helping disabled people on a small island in the Indian Ocean
  • It does not use any chemicals or bleaching products so it entirely natural and truly biodegradable
  • It is using a sustainable and native product
  • It is saving the planet one straw at a time.

Your help will enable a production of organic, natural straws that you can reuse as many times as you like without polluting the ocean with one use plastic straw.

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The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans, included straws. The ban goes effect across the bloc by 2021.

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Hi I’m Gabriella Silvestri, an Italian PhD biologist (linkedin).

Travel4thoughts is a Not for Profit Swiss Association engaged in the achievement of the SDGs 2030 Agenda.

I support a local NGO in the Indian Ocean raising money to launch a local production of organic, biodegradable and reusable straws to replace single-use plastic straws.

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THE STORY

As a sustainability blogger, I was invited on an educational visit to Rodrigues Island, Mauritius, to promote the island.  Once more, travel ws for me a vehicle to gain awareness.

While I was there, I felt very uncomfortable about the excessive damaging consumption of plastic straws on the island, especially as I fell in love with drinking fresh coconut water sold daily in the market (drunk from a straw).

A small plastic straw – it’s something that comes with most beverages that we order – from soft drinks to even a glass of water. In Rodrigues Island, its use is even more widespread due to coconut water sales – always with an added plastic straw!

Plastic straws are a non-essential part of our life, and yet they cause so much damage to the environment. And this island contributes drastically to ocean’s pollution by plastic.

Since 2011 over a million straws have been dumped in the ocean, only from a tine island of 40’000 inhabitants. 

I am very conscious about the devastating effect of plastic on the environment and each day I try to do small things to contribute from my side.

So, I set out to find a way to replace the thousands of plastic straws with bamboo straws; I went to the jungle and made some myself to prove that bamboo, which grows wild on the island, were suitable for this purpose!

I contacted the Ministry of the Environment on the island who fully embraced this idea and, after some negotiations and educational initiatives, on 05 June 2018, the Ministry announced the ban of plastic straws as one of his measures for the preservation and protection of his beloved ocean.

We are now well aware of the scale of this global plastic crisis the world is going through; the numbers are daunting and it is proved that by 2025 there will be one ton of plastic for 3 tons of fish, and more plastic than fish by weight in 2050.

Our modern era has made us dependent on plastic, and yet we are drowning in it and eating it too through our food.

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  • Plastic represents 80% of marine pollution:
  • 4 – 12 million metric tons per year ends up in the ocean
  • it never degrades and it will never go away
  • It breaks down into micro particles (1-5mm) via UV radiation, weather degradation and action by marine organisms
  • 1 square meter ocean contains approx 64000 micro plastics
  • It’s the cause of death for 71% seabirds and 30% turtles 
  • It enters our food chain, and it’s present in 15-20% of the marine species we eat
  • it alters biodiversity and the equilibrium of native ecosystems by creating alternative habitats with alien species 
  • It is implicated in endocrine and genetic dysfunctions

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An NGO, Care-co on Rodrigues island gives jobs to people with disabilities. This organisation has been selected to create the bamboo straws using non bleaching and chemical cleaning processes.

Some are hearing or visually impaired, or have physical or mental disabilities.

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This project not only will benefit Mauritius and preserve its ocean asset base it also contributes to SDG: LIFE UNDER WATER.

Below the Commissioner for the environment commits to the ban of the plastic straws once the replacement in bamboo will be available.

After the project and the ban of plastic straw reinforcement law is in place, 2 million plastic straws will be replaced by organic biodegradable alternatives. 

The project is aligned with Government that aims at making Rodrigues as an ecological island. 

I’m looking for investors to help take this little straw into a bigger project – these straws are being exported to Europe but looking for help to expand the impact to a wider market. The straw is just the beginning…

Hashtag campaign #biostraw4planet

Please feel free to contact me for any question and/or additional details: email

Video (English): Together we can!  

Video (Italian & L.I.S.): Insieme si puo’! 

Video (French): Ensemble nous pouvons! 

With every 100 straws, you will prevent the dumping of 1kg of plastic.

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