Meet the former Southsea student who has sold two million biodegradable wheat straws
AN entrepreneur is celebrating a major milestone in his eco-friendly business.
Alex Bruce, a former student at St John’s College in Southsea, has sold two million biodegradable straws.
The 27-year-old founded Turtle Straws in 2018 and after a year of business, the company has reached the milestone and is now operating in 35 countries.
Alex said: ‘Knowing I have allowed 2 million plastic straws to be substituted with a truly environmentally friendly alternative is really rewarding.’
The straws are made from wheat stems - a completely natural waste product that can be sourced worldwide.
Unlike paper straws, wheat alternatives don’t change the taste of a drink, don’t go soggy and are 100 per cent biodegradable.
Wheat straws can also be used in hot drinks and are able to be put in the dishwasher and reused several times.
Alex founded the business after realising a need to limit the production of single-use plastic in straws and decided to produce a better option than the paper alternative.
He wondered why wheat straw had never been widely used as a sustainable alternative while helping mum, Kate muck out her horse.
One of the main environmental benefits of Turtle Straws is that the wheat used in production takes just a year to grow back, compared to the 20 years it takes for the pine trees used for paper straws.
He decided to take action after watching the 2017 David Attenborough documentary, Blue Planet II.
Alex is a keen windsurfer and a former sailing instructor with a love for the sea, which was one of the reasons he set up the firm.
He said: ‘It’s great to be contributing to the so-called “war on waste”. It can seem incredibly overwhelming when we’re constantly being bombarded by devastating facts in the news and on social media, but everyone really can do their bit, whether it’s simply buying a box of Turtle Straws, remembering to take your reusable bag to the supermarket, or eliminating plastic from your home entirely.’
Alex’s ambition is to sell a further two million in 2020 and to continue encouraging businesses of all sizes to move away from plastic and paper straws.