I initially started a business to support farmers in my hometown and provide organic agricultural products straight from the farm to the customer. My passion for a healthy lifestyle inspired me to share with other healthy products to their doorsteps.
Everything was going great until I volunteered at the Park. I learned more about the importance of sustainable agriculture and the devastating effect of our modern lifestyle on the environment.
Each year, we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste (The World Counts). Australia has generated 67 million tonnes of waste each year, 37 million tonnes has been sent for recycling (Australia National Waste report 2018). Our plastic waste, often not recycled, ends up in the environment, harming other creatures.
I started to research sustainable products to reduce disposable waste. In the pursuit of replacement plastic waste, paper outperforms other alternatives and has become everyone’s special consideration. However, papermaking is generating 5 times more greenhouse gases than plastic manufacturing. The cost of creating a substitute for plastic is equally the same with or even higher than using single-use plastic. I believe that will not change the underlying environmentally calculus at all.
Vietnam, my home country, has adopted banana leaves as a possible alternative to single-use plastic. The use of leaves and plants based materials for food cover, wrapping, and storage has a long history in tropical Asian countries. In response to this trend, my family has been supporting Vietnamese farmers in growing banana trees, distributing banana leaves nationwide, to America and Korea. Recently, papaya stems, wheat stems, grass stems have been commonly used as drinking straws. I have always been amazed by the multiple functions that these natural materials can serve.
This aspires me to find a natural substitute for plastic in Australia. While Australia is among the top 5 producers of wheat, it’s such a waste of wonderful resources if we could not take advantage of the natural resource from the wheat after the harvest. Wheat stem straws require no complex manufacturing process and can be produced entirely locally with materials from surrounding NSW farming regions. I desire to make the most out of wheat stems to reduce plastic waste straws publicly in Canberra.
After partnering with local NGOs, I founded Organizan to prove that there are good sustainable eco-friendly alternatives for most of the single-use plastic and paper products, which are not destroying the quality of the environment we live in, either causing harm to many other creatures.
With the consumers’ increased awareness of sustainability, I believe that together we can help address this issue with the wheat-stem based alternate. We can also reduce the direct manufacture related environment cost for producing straws and reduce the end-of-life associated environment cost with the disposal of those products.
In the near future, I hope we can take a step further to single-use plastic and paper plates, boxes and cups alternative by natural leaves such as banana leaves and palm. Extending the life of recycled plastics by creating long-lasting products such as jewellery, home decorations is also one of my passion.
Give us your hand in helping our environment with an easy step to exchange your plastic straws with simple biodegradable alternatives.
Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make the change