Photo: PR Times
lifestyle

Major Japanese restaurant chain introducing bamboo straws to help reduce plastic and save forests

12 Comments
By SoraNews24

Japan has been getting more into the reduction of single-use plastics recently and major izakaya (Japanese pub) chain Watami is gearing up for a big change to follow suit. Starting on Thursday, they will be eliminating plastic straws from their inventory, but more interesting is what they are replacing them with.

Dubbed the Take Straw, meaning “bamboo straw,” these tubes are primarily produced with bamboo fiber. This makes them completely biodegradable in a matter of months and even safe if accidentally ingested.

While that’s all great, it’s actually just one of the ways Take Straws are helping the environment. In addition to reducing waste, they’re also helping to wipe out the scourge of bamboo groves.

Because they’re so serenely pretty and make great backdrops for samurai battles, it might come as a surprise that bamboo groves are actually a growing problem. When properly maintained, clusters of the tall plants are delightful natural landscapes, but when left to their own devices, these fast growing stalks can overtake and choke off other plant life.

Not only that, but their shallow roots disrupt soil, making landslides a potential problem during times of earthquakes and heavy rains.

It’s a problem that Watami is addressing by not farming the bamboo used in their straws but by harvesting it from rogue groves around Japan. This obviously makes supplies more limited, so they will only be made available upon request by customers who order a soft drink at one of the 68 participating Watami and Zawatami locations across Japan.

It’s a nice move all around and a welcome step in the right direction for the company that has been nominated for Most Evil Corporation of the Year more than once. So, if you find yourself in a Watami, ask for a stick of bamboo and help stick it to bad bamboo once and for all.

Source: PR Times, Netlab

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto “crying” as tourists vandalise trees

-- Japanese gang of elementary-school-age bamboo thieves let off the hook for heartwarming reason

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© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Excellent move.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good news. They could also just ditch straws all together, their customer base is mostly adults so do they really need straws!?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Kniknaknokkaer - for some people - the elderly, people with disabilities for example - it is much easier to drink from a straw than by holding the container. For them, an exception. For people who don't want to spoil their lipstick, no exceptions.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Excellent move.

I'll second that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some people need straws, so these are a good alternative for those who need them.

A good start, but they really need to be looking at shops and businesses - plastic packaging and overwrapping are a big problem in Japan. They need to use alternatives to plastic bottles, stop putting fruit and veg on plastic trays then wrapping them in plastic, plastic egg boxes, individually wrapped biscuits and cakes, plastic utensils, plastic bags etc.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

it's a good thing that they do that but that means they will cut more trees to make those !! man they think they have a solution but in the end they just make another problem

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

that means they will cut more trees to make those !! man they think they have a solution but in the end they just make another problem

Bamboo straws are made of bamboo, not wood. Bamboo is a grass, not a tree. A very very big grass, but a grass all the same. It grows like a weed. the article calls bamboo groves a scourge. Bamboo grows anywhere and everywhere, like a weed.

Making bamboo straws does not involve the cutting of any trees.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bamboo is a wonderful creative ecological safe material that at days end returns to the earth. Even build whole houses. In Indonesia, there's a "free school" built entirely from bamboo.

The Indonesia Green School, in beautiful Bali.

https://www.greenschool.org/schoolexpanding/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kill off one type or preserve another and as with most laws in Japan, they are not mandatory to follow. Waste of energy and other resources to make, to be later thrown away inside giant plastic bags.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's a step in the right direction. 'Look after the pennies and the pound will look after itself ' (a bit of an old saying) can be interpreted to mean, small changes can bring about major ones, that's the way to go

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Next they could add bamboo chopsticks. Bamboo toothpicks. Napkins made from bamboo. Bamboo hot and cold towels. Bamboo noren. Bamboo tablecloths. Bamboo aprons for the kitchen staff. Bamboo hats for the chefs. Bamboo toilet paper.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder if it ads a taste to the drink. I'll keep to plastic straws.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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