Here at Bye Bye Plastic we are so pleased to announce that Berkelo has ramped up their eco game, and are now serving drinks with wheat straws! Almost 10 million plastic straws are used in Australia every year, many of which end up in our oceans and harm precious marine species. These wheat straws are fully biodegradable within 6 months in your garden compost or 2 months in a commercial composting facility and are 100% gluten-free.

Not only is wheat a renewable resource, but these straws are actually made from a re-purposed by-product of wheat production, therefore reducing the amount of waste in the wheat industry and requiring no new resources to be produced in their manufacturing. They are produced by simply boiling the wheat stems, also making them almost completely unprocessed.

We, along with the team at Berkelo and their customers, are very excited about this new alternative to plastic straws. The community is becoming increasingly concerned with the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in landfill, but are disheartened by a lack of viable, convenient alternatives. Berkelo customers appreciate the effort being made to become a more sustainable and eco-friendly café. While Berkelo didn’t previously use plastic straws, they are pleased to now be able to improve their customer satisfaction by offering an environmentally-friendly straw to those customers who may want one.

We asked Berkelo some questions about how these wheat straws perform against their single use plastic counterparts, and we are happy to report that they stack up pretty well!

First, the wheat straws can be used in both hot and cold beverages.  They do not go soggy after sitting in a drink for a while (unlike their paper and cardboard cousins).  In fact, because of the way they are produced by boiling wheat stems, they stay completely straight.  In terms of cost, the straws  average about $0.03 each. If they are only used when required and requested by the customer, fewer straws are used overall and the cost becomes a less significant issue.  But it is a huge step forward for the environment and your conscious consumer will definitely notice and pat you on the back!

So, we see that there is really no reason to continue to use plastic straws!  If you are in Brookvale, Mosman or Mona Vale, then head on in to your local Berkelo café to enjoy the BEST house-brewed kombucha with an environmentally-friendly straw and a clear conscience!