Coconut Leaves used as Straws in Philippines Café to cut Plastic Waste

A lukay straw made from coconut leaves.

The world has been declared to be in a global crisis due to plastic pollution. Each human needs to remove his or her carbon footprint and replace it with a bio-degradable one. In small corners of the world, humans are making changes, to remove their plastic imprints from our battered green earth.

A cafe owner in the Philippines is utilizing decomposable straws made of coconut leaves as a substitute to single-use plastic straws. The coconut straw is referred to as a “lukay” straw. Lukay is the term used by locals for palm leaves or coconut fronds, and buko is the coconut juice.

The manager, Sarah Tiu, of Café Editha in Siargao Island in the Philippines, adopted the lukay drinking straw idea to eliminate plastic waste in her restaurant. The owner of the café stated she was enthusiastic about the idea. She was inspired, after observing how the coconut leaves were made into drinking straws, during a family trip to Corregidor Island.

Sarah, with practice and dedication, learned how to master the skill of making the lukay straw. Sarah and her nephew also made a “how to” demonstration video, to educate and to promote ways to care for the earth. Every morning before the café opens, Sarah and her crew make the straws. She said each straw takes less than a couple of minutes to make.

The patrons instantaneously took to the new earth-friendly straws, uploading images of glass pitchers containing the lukay straw on their social media pages. The straws are securely bound and leak-proof, eliminating that annoying sound when a straw has a tear or a hole.

This is a pivotal moment in our lives, when we, as humans who inhabit the earth, each need to make a conscious change. Each human needs to do his or her part to remove a carbon footprint and replace it with a bio-degradable one. There are a plethora of non-plastic substitutes to straws, readily available to people. If every business owner and consumer around the world followed suit, they would create a powerful wave in decreasing our global plastic crisis.