How to Make Bamboo Straws to Help Save the Ocean


Quoted from the report of the World Economic Forum entitled White Paper on Plastics Circular Economy and Global Trade in July 2020, a total of 400 million tons of plastic are produced in the world every year. This plastic is used for various purposes, including as a wrapping material because it is light and functional. Meanwhile, of the 400 million tons of plastic waste in the world, 150 million tons of them are found in the world's waters.


Plastic waste is also a problem for the marine environment in Indonesia. The results of the preliminary calculation from the Coordinating Team for the National Secretariat for Handling Marine Debris stated that the estimated incoming waste in Indonesian seas in 2020 is estimated at 521,540 tons. Most of the garbage found in the ocean is plastic waste. The plastic waste included straws, plastic rope, plastic cups used for bottled drinking water (AMDK), and plastic bags.


Do you still remember the discovery of the carcass of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in the waters of Kapota Island, Wakatobi National Park, Southeast Sulawesi, on November 18, 2018? The box head whale carcass was then necropsied (dissecting the animal carcass). The result was found hundreds of plastic waste of various types weighing a total of 5.9 kilograms from his stomach. In addition, plastic bags, straws, ropes, nets, and other pieces of plastic were found in the stomach of the sperm whale carcass. This shows the dangers of plastic waste, causing the death of a sperm whale.


Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, a group of marine biologists found a turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril in 2015. Therefore, we know how dangerous plastic waste is to sea life. This incident serves as a reminder of how plastic straws can harm marine life. However, what are the solutions you can take to reduce plastic waste? Small steps such as using bamboo straws can solve the problem of plastic waste.


How to make bamboo straws to help preserve the ocean?

Straws with plastic raw materials have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of plastic raw material straws can be mass-produced, easy to find, and practical. However, due to the practicality of these straws, they create problems for the environment.

Currently, people are innovating about how to enjoy drinks from straws, but the straws they make are not made of plastic. Thus, the innovation of bamboo straws was born to help preserve the environment. What's more, the world is currently competing to find raw materials for an environmentally friendly product

These straws are of course environmentally friendly. In addition, it can also be made independently. The raw materials used to make straws can also be found in the environment. To be able to make straws from bamboo, the type of material used has special requirements. Like having a small hole diameter.


The type of bamboo used to make straws from this bamboo is tamiang bamboo or its Latin name is Schizostachyum blumei Nees, Syn. Melocanna zollingeri Steudel var. longispiculata Kurz. ex Munro, and Schizostachyum longispiculatum Kurz ex Munro. Kurz.


This type of bamboo has different names in several countries. Such as China (Zhao wa si lao zhu), England (Borneo schizostachyum), France (Schizostachyum de Borneo), Brunei Darussalam (Buluh lacau), and Malaysia (Bongulungul, Tombotuon, Buloh anap,)

The steps for making straws from bamboo are quite simple. You can also make these straws at home. Here are the steps for making bamboo straws.

Tools and materials :

  1. Bamboo
  2. pipe saw
  3. Kitchen vinegar
  4. Straw brush
  5. Water
  6. Pan
  7. Fine size sandpape

Work steps:

  1. Prepare tools and materials to make bamboo straws. Make sure the bamboo you use has a small hole diameter.
  2. Cut the bamboo following the segments, usually, the straws are 10-12 cm long. Use a pipe saw to cut the bamboo.
  3. Clean the inside of the bamboo using a straw brush. Clean the inside of the bamboo using running water.
  4. Boil the cleaned bamboo for 10-15 minutes. Add as much kitchen vinegar as half a tablespoon.
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  5. Stir the bamboo stew so that it is evenly distributed.
  6. Drain the bamboo stew, wait for it to dry.
  7. Once dry, you can smooth the outside of the bamboo straw. Use sandpaper of fine size.
  8. Straws from bamboo are ready to be marketed.

That was how to make a simple straw from bamboo. You can make these straws with friends or family. It will definitely be a fun activity. What's more, we can help preserve the environment. Because the straws are made from environmentally friendly materials.

Here is a video on how to make straws from bamboo.