Bamboo straws are environmentally friendly; made from nature, reusable and compostable. . .
Because of this they are appearing in more and more cafes, restaurants and hotels around Cambodia. Adding to the already tropical feel of holidaying in Cambodia, a bamboo straw in a fresh coconut is a novel holiday delight for a lot of travellers.
So what’s this craze all about? In more recent years, more businesses are becoming conscious of the damage that single-use plastics have on the environment. It was particularly noticed by one hotel general manager in Siem Reap during the 2011 floods when he realized that plastic straws were clogging up the drains and not letting the flood waters flow away. He decided to change to bamboo straws and encouraged the industry to follow suit. Similarly on Koh Rong island in the south, bar managers noticed the awful destruction from single-use cups and straws in their otherwise pristine environment and wanted change too. Whilst the nasty plastic straw is still highly present, the bamboo straw is appearing across more venues around the country and they’re so popular that people want to buy one of their own to use. Bamboo straws make cocktails look classy, coconuts even more exotic and soft drinks taste somehow purer when mingled with the subtle woody tones of the bamboo.
How can you be sure that bamboo is clean?
Bamboo is a naturally antiseptic material, like many woods, it is antibacterial in its nature. Restaurants using bamboo straws are meticulous in making sure cleanliness and hygiene is the top of their priority. At larger establishments, a commercial dishwasher is used, providing heat and detergent for thorough cleaning. For smaller venues the straws are cleaned inside with a cloth on a stick and boiled in a water and vinegar solution for absolute purity. If that’s not convincing, then get your own personal straw and carry it with you. Or go strawless, we don’t all have to suck. Socially responsible
Bamboo straws are providing a niche industry for small businesses and sole operators. Primarily produced from bamboo harvested around Siem Reap, Ratanakiri and Koh Rong, this little industry is providing a livelihood for people in rural communities. Want some for yourself or your business?
Try Mekong Quilts, locations in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Plastic Free Cambodia in Siem Reap and many socially responsible or eco-friendly cafes around the country.