Straws made of fallen coconut leaves by Evlogia Ecocare | Photo Credit: Special arrangement They last for hours in a drink, are compostable, and come in different sizes for bubble tea and coconut water. Straws made of fallen coconut leaves are making steady inroads into domestic and global markets October 3, 2017 was a special day for Professor Saji Varghese, who teaches English, Design Thinking, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Christ University in Bengaluru. As he walked around his campus, he noticed a few fallen coconut leaves. What struck him was a unique curl to the withered leaf, almost resembling a drinking straw. That eureka moment led to three years of research and design, and birthed Sunbird Straws, the first multi-layered coconut straws to hit the market. “We sent samples of these straws to 10 countries during the last one year and now have potential orders of 25 million straws. We have one operational centre in a village near Madurai, employing six women, but are looking to expand to eight centres in three months, employing 121 women across coastal India,” explains Saji. Meanwhile, at Bengaluru-based startup Evlogia Ecocare. Founder, Manigandan Kumarappan, says proudly, “We started production in January 2019 […]

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