Leila Siljeur, 19, a chemical engineering student at Stellenbosch University (SU), was inspired after seeing a Facebook post of a sea turtle with a plastic fork stuck in its nose and felt she should play her part in reducing plastic pollution.
She decided to design her own brand of edible and environmentally friendly straws and won R50000 for her invention in a recent Allan Gray Orbis Foundation National Jamboree.
Her creation was registered under the name Eat Me Straws. The straws come in three styles: regular, health and vegan. What’s more, they don’t get mushy when you put them in a wet substance.
“Even though companies are producing biodegradable straws, some still end up in the ocean, posing a threat to marine life,” said Siljeur.