The creator of “Wooden Straws” Made from Forest Thinning Wood.
Aqura Home Co., Ltd.'s Wood Straw Project
The Wood Straw Project aims to encourage the conservation of forests through thinning, the effective use of thinned wood, and to provide economic assistance to the forest industry while protecting the ocean and environment through the reduction of consumer plastics.
When torrential rains hit west Japan in 2018, an environmental journalist highlighted the “lack of forest thinning and inadequate maintenance of forest” as factors that contributed to landslides and the need to effectively use thinned wood.
That is how this project began. Aqura Home builds wooden homes, and along those lines, the company began developing “wooden straws” to put the timber to good use and to protect the forests.
After many trial-and-errors, the company became the first in the world to thinly slice the timber and wrap it diagonally to mass produce straws. These straws will contribute to mitigating the plastic straw problem by providing an alternative solution to a common problem. Moreover, as these straws can be manufactured by utilizing a lot of forest thinning timber, they will also help protect forests. As straws are a commonly used item throughout the world, we hope these wooden straws will encourage people to think about environmental issues and how they can contribute to make it better.
Domestic timber, mainly thinned wood, is used to manufacture the straws. Maintaining the forest through thinning helps keep the forest healthy.
[Why choose wooden straws?]
＜Issues with other materials＞ (Poor usability)
When “paper straws” soak in liquid over an extended length of time, fibers begin to dissolve and there are concerns over the safety of the adhesive used. And “my straw” (reusable straws often made of metal)” require a dedicated brush to clean inside, or a means to take it apart and reassemble after cleaning, so there may be issues with cleanliness and requires an excessive effort on the users’ part.
＜Characteristics of the wooden straws＞ (Usability while helping the environment at the same time)
When developing the wooden straws, Aqura Homes examined the pros and cons of other materials and came to the conclusion that disposables are by far the best solution. To promote the use of thinned wood, the company developed wooden straws that could be disposed of as burnable trash. Trees can inherently store water, so they will not dissolve, and the company also chose the optimal adhesive without any food hygiene issues. In addition, as thinned wood is an alternative to plastic, it decreases our dependency on consumer plastics. Unlike other materials, wood contributes to both environmental issues – decreasing waste plastic and effective use of thinned wood to create healthy forests.