We are Marion and Alexis and we launched Mister RYE, the first Australian drinking straws in January 2020.
Our mission is simple: offer a local and traceable alternative to plastic, bioplastic, paper and imported drinking straws.
We value existing resources, circular and local production cycle.
With Mister RYE, our goal is to offer Australian farmers a new source of income producing rye straws, and promote employment in rural area.
The full story of our rye straws
While traveling around the country in 2018, we were shocked at how much plastic we were picking up, especially on Australia’s most beautiful beaches and popular spots…
Straws always being in the top 10 picked items, after cigarette butts and plastic packaging, we also noticed they were a strong symbol to many organisations looking to raise awareness on plastic pollution!
Everything came together when the video of the turtle with plastic straw stuck into its nostril got published. This video has been viewed over 40 millions times! It made people realise not only that straws were a danger to the marine environment, but more importantly that plastic pollution was a REAL and ACTUAL problem.
The more we continued our researches, the more we realised greenwashing is also playing a big part in the packaging industry! Plant based products (made from PLA/bioplastic) are getting very popular on the Australian market and are said to be compostable. In reality they are only commercially compostable and require specific conditions to be effectively composted. We are talking about this in more details via our sister brand Compostable Alternatives where we decided to tackle this issue and promote a range of certified home compostable products.
Did you know all straws in Australia were imported from Asia?
Other plant based and paper straws are getting very popular everywhere in the world, but we couldn’t find a single drinking straw manufactured in Australia.
Everything is made abroad and imported…
We started looking for local resources
With Dr Kath Cooper, researcher and plant breeder for more than 30 years, we started looking at what local resources we could use to create a 100% Australian straw, entirely grown and processed here in South Australia.
Testing and trying different varieties of cereals, we found rye was the most suitable plant to be a straw. Our online research also confirmed rye straws were the ancestors of our polluting friends: plastic and paper straws! They were used to avoid spreading diseases in the 1800s.