SAN PABLO, Laguna - A coffee shop in Sampalok Lake is gaining attention for using edible straws for cold drinks.
EhKape, a cafe owned by ekolife OFW Marketing Cooperative, has been using biodegradable straws since 2017. Made of 70 percent rice and 30 percent tapioca, the straw doesn't have a distinct taste so it doesn't affect the drinks' flavors.
According to ekolife general manager Rommel Dizon, edible straws are compostable and don't sag like paper straws. Using it is part of their corporate social responsibility to contribute to environmental protection.
EhKape staff says the edible straw is always a conversation starter among curious customers.
"Some joke that when they don't have enough money to buy food with their drinks especially when they are hungry, they have the straw to eat!" Dizon told the Manila Bulletin.
Paul Anton Mahinay, a 26-year-old junior high school science teacher, is one of the patrons who appreciate the cafe's use of biodegradable straws as he is trying to minimize waste at home and at work.
"Living in this modern world wherein everything is instant, achieving or practicing zero waste is difficult," Mahinay told the Manila Bulletin. "A small action with a purpose like being responsible about our waste has a great impact on the environment."
The coffee shop also encourages customers to bring their own reusable tumblers for discounts. They're now exploring the use of banana leaves as food packaging to reduce plastic waste.