A café in the Philippines is inspiring thousands of people around the world to replace their plastic straws with a more eco-friendly alternative.

Sarah Tiu, who is the manager of Café Editha in Surigao del Norte, recently started using rolled up coconut leaves as a cheap, biodegradable alternative for plastic straws in her restaurant.

The 37-year-old restauranteur first got the idea to use the straws as she was vacationing with her family on Corregidor Island in Siargao.

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Upon ordering some drinks from a local business, Tiu was surprised to receive her beverage with a straw made out of “lukay”—the local term for coconut leaves.

She then asked the managers of the business to teacher her how to craft lukay straws so she could hand them out in her own café.

Once she had mastered the simple skill, Tiu published a photo of her completed straws to the Café Editha Facebook page where it was shared thousands of times by social media users around the world.


Tiu has not just utilized the coconut leaves for straws, either; since the café does not have plastic takeaway lids, they started covering their cups in lukay.

“We still have a lot to eradicate,” wrote Tiu, “[but] hopefully we can find more alternatives to create less waste.”


For anyone who feels inspired to create the sustainable straws on their own, Tiu created an instructional video on how to properly roll and cut the coconut leaves—and she hopes that it will help her fellow business owners to continue phasing out wasteful plastic packaging around the world.

(WATCH the video below)

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