The straws are made from all-natural lepironia that is cleaned, cut, sanitized, and dehydrated and decomposes naturally within three to six months after use. They are free of heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals.
In an interview with Business Today, Wonder Greener co-founder Stanley Hung (洪誠孝) said that as communities around the world became increasingly aware of the harm plastic straws do to the environment and began replacing them with paper alternatives, he asked himself if paper was the best substitute material. He wondered whether paper straws are really completely biodegradable and whether the production process and material used to make them are truly environmentally friendly.
The paper industry is one of the most energy- and water-intensive. According to Business Today, the recycled paper used to make paper straws is prone to heavy metal or pesticide pollution and may contain fluorescent agents. In terms of recycling, paper straws do not biodegrade easily, if at all.
Hung believes that carbon emitted throughout the entire manufacturing process must be taken into consideration when seeking a solution for disposable straws. He said many ideas merely focus on ways to decrease the use of plastic and overlook the impact of materials and production.
In response to another common solution to the issue of plastic straws — to not use disposable straws at all — Hung said it is important to take advantage of consumer habits to promote sustainability. “Our products allow consumers to keep being themselves. That is how we are able to promote widespread social benefits through them,” Hung told Business Today.
He added that when a product meets consumers’ preference for cheap, convenient disposable straws, consumers will be less resistant to the push for eco-friendliness and sustainability. “When you see the social influence of a product, you know that straws are not just small business; they are part of a huge circulation.”
Wonder Greener also strives to meet environment, sustainability, and governance (ESG) principles in other ways, Business Today reported. In addition to ensuring the sustainability and efficiency of its company governance through a product that requires no lobbying or additional approval, Wonder Greener also works with farmers to grow lepironia on farmland that is not otherwise in use, giving the land new purpose and aiding the local economy by providing jobs.