When Becoming Plastic Free is Problematic | Our Reflection on 1 for 5 Campaign

This is a quite funny story actually. One day we ate at the coffee shop. One of our favorite coffee shop that seemed to begin their way of minimizing plastic use. They have bamboo straws! We were so happy seeing it as good news. It turned out that the bamboo straws was given by the relative of the owner. So they had to use the bamboo straws. Until this blog is written, we haven’t got a chance to interact and doing information exchange regarding the straw’s use as we assumed that they knew already on how to treat and use them properly. We’re just happy for them!

So, for the umpteenth time, we came again for a coffee & work a bit on emailing Gumi Bamboo customers. We were on headphones, accidentally we were overhearing an interesting tough discussion about bamboo straws use.

We try to describe their points in the list below:

  1. Lots of their customers are really new on bamboo straw. They gave back the bamboo straw to the cashier. (But the good thing is the last time we come to their place they choose to be strawless when serving the drink and only give bamboo straws when the customers ask for it)
  2. Even in other cases, there are some people break the bamboo straws because they don’t want it to be reused by other people. The customers see it as the unhygienic alternative to plastic straws. (In fact, bamboo itself has antibacterial property! In addition, bamboo straws can last until 8 months for frequent use)
  3. They only have only a few bamboo straws on board and the cleaning is taking a bit of their time, so when the peak hours they often run out of bamboo straws.
  4. The owner thinks that the price is expensive thus the owner cannot deal when some bamboo straws lost, the funny thing, some customers bring the bamboo straws home, making their bamboo straws stock decreasing.

Hearing those things, we realize that we might find a lot of challenges to offer bamboo straws as an alternative of plastic straws to the local community, local cafes, restaurants, and canteens here in Lombok as Bamboo staw is still a new thing here and the awareness of why should they stop using single-use plastic is still low.

As a business, profit and efficiency are things usually prioritized. We think the most of locals here in Lombok is motivated for catching up with the current trend and also marketing the business itself, not pure because they really understand why should they really care about it and do it sustainably. Nothing good comes easy!

Well, this means the emergence of stopping single-use plastic straws need to be explained way harder, by educating and providing the alternative at the same time, the purpose is to make locals both understand and apply the concept of zero waste sustainably (not only for following the trends).

Since last year, under 1 for 5 campaign , we have been able to give free bamboo straws and assistance on caring them to 16 local business in Lombok (And it’s still counting). Most of them are locally owned Cafes, Restaurant & Canteens that’s we provide them free bamboo straws. This has made possible by a lot of our business/individual customers from outside Indonesia. So, every time you purchase our bamboo straws, it helps our #1for5 campaign running ?helping us to empower local business to be plastic straw free!

Help us to persuade & educate more Local F&B business to reduce their single-use plastic use by supporting in our 1 for 5 Campaign .

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