Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Leila Siljeur, a 19 year old chemical engineering student at Stellenbosch University was inspired after seeing a social media post of a sea turtle with a plastic fork stuck in its nose and felt she need to play her part in conserving the environment and marine life by reducing plastic pollution.

She then decided to design her own brand of edible and environmentally friendly straws and won R50000 for her awesome creation in a recent Allan Gray Orbis Foundation National Jamboree.

Her invention was registered under the name Eat Me Straws. The straws come in a variety of different styles namely: regular, health and vegan. The best part? They don’t get mushy when you put them in a wet substance. Siljeur says even though companies are creating biodegradable straws some of them still end up in the ocean posing a threat to marine life.

Siljeur says she and her team had been selling small batches of 10 to 20 edible straws informally to students since last year. The feedback from the students who had bought the straws was positive, she said. “They love the straws.” 

She plans to produce more straws and sell them to businesses in Stellenbosch and other parts of the country saying the money she won will definitely come in handy in order to expand!

By: Aneeqa du Plessis

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