Start-up company Little Green Panda has created a range of 100% plant-based drinking straws to combat the single-use plastic crisis.
The move is a timely one, with South Australia becoming the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics after new laws passed parliament.
The rules, which come into effect next year, mean the sale, supply and distribution of plastic straws, cutlery and coffee stirrers will be stopped.
Other states and territories may soon follow and pass their own laws. Queensland and the ACT already have legislation before their parliaments. while Western Australia and NSW have held public consultations on similar laws.
Little Green Panda founder Manon Beauchamp Tardieu (below) decided to look for new ways to challenge the status quo two years ago.
“That’s when I discovered a viable, sustainable solution that was used way before synthetic materials were even a thing,” she said. “I went back, dug deep (literally, into the ground) and brought back to the surface a range of 100% plant-based straws.”
All products are ethically sourced and support small-scale farmers in Vietnam and Mongolia by providing them with a second source of income from their waste material.
In its first 16 months of business, Little Green Panda sold 2.6 million straws and experienced 200% month-on-month revenue growth.
However, the use of single-use plastics started to increase again during COVID-19 restrictions.
“When COVID-19 hit, we reduced our prices to make our straws more accessible to businesses going through tough times,” says Beauchamp-Tardieu.
“COVID-19 has severely impacted the hospitality industry. It’s great to see our customers getting back on their feet and continuing to use sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic straws.”
To date, the start-up has supplied straws to more than 800 business and individuals, replacing millions of straws in more than 10 countries.