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Plant based packaging and straws

Lotus leaves are water repellent which could innovate ideas for the liquid based packaging and stems of rice could be used as straws.

Photo of Rabin Dahal
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Coming from rural parts of Nepal, during my childhood I remember using rice stem as a straw since plastic straws were not available. Stems of rice, wheat are hollow. It could be used and just thrown away to nature since it is biodegradable. However, research has to be done if it would be disease, chemical or toxic free. Also, I could remember borrowing shampoos or pickles in the lotus leaves  since paper would break down easily and plastics were not common. There are different leaves in nature that can repel water. These water repellent properties could be studied in detail. They could provide different innovative ideas for liquid packaging.

There are different natural resources that has not been used wisely. Banana stem, pineapple leaves and many more have very big scope to create new materials out of it. Banana stem after the fruit is harvested are thrown away just as waste. Farmers are having trouble to dispose them properly as it covers up big space. A lot of research and funding is necessary to create different valued products from these materials. 

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

These are just common things and not the research. If proper research are done to find out why the leaves of the lotus plant are water repellent, it could provide some breakthrough ideas to replace plastic sachets. Rice stems or similar could replace the use of plastic straws.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

The production of plastics itself is not environmentally friendly. Also it would cover up whole land and oceans if we do not stop to take the plastics seriously. Animals, birds and fishes are dying because of plastic ingestion.

Tell us about yourself

I am an environmental engineering student.

This inspired (1)

Why straws, anyway?


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Hi Rabin!

There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via -

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