Two Australian companies offering competing products, Little Green Panda and Stroh, have joined forces in a bid to eliminate disposable plastic straws from the food service industry by replacing them with compostable, plant-based alternatives made from wheat stems.
Sharing a mutual commitment to eradicating single-use plastics in the retail and hospitality industries, Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu and Teresa Aylott, of Little Green Panda and Strohrespectively, have now become leaders in the plant-based product industry, selling a combined 1.3 million wheat stem straws to seven countries with a growth rate of 250 per cent in monthly sales.
“We are so excited to bring together our knowledge, resources, established relationships and most importantly, our passion, to tackle the pervasive problem of single-use plastics within the retail and hospitality industries. We believe our business is more than just selling sustainable straws, we are driving a movement to reduce waste,” says Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu.
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Committed to being a zero waste business, Little Green Panda’s straws are predominantly made from wheat stems, considered an agricultural waste product but when turned into a resource that is 100% compostable, non-toxic, plastic free, gluten free and soggy free, making it a friendly alternative to both the environment and the consumer.
“We want our business to restore and replenish the environment, not deplete it,” says Teresa Aylott.
The company also makes straws from bamboo and sugar cane, with both options compostable and proving to be popular functional alternatives to plastic.
Focusing on the commercial mass use of plastic and paper straws, the duo has already made a mark globally, working with wholesalers and distributors across Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Hong Kong with clients including Marriott Hotels, Sofitel, Hilton Hotel, Attica, and Australian Liquor Marketers. Little Green Panda also supplies to 50 supermarkets in France and are in talks with major supermarkets in Australia.
Manufacturing currently takes place on the borders of Mongolia; however, the company is hoping to eventually move the manufacturing process to Australia. Off the back of Global Table, Asia Pacific’s largest international agri-food innovation event where Stroh was an exhibitor, Little Green Panda are now in talks with a major scientific organisation to research the machinery which would allow for local manufacturing as well as farmers around Australia to produce the straws.
Already seeing exponential growth, the company hopes to continue along this trajectory, eventually taking control of the entire supply chain and expanding their sustainable product offering beyond straws.