Where: Greece
Who: Staramaki
Bioeconomy theme: Food/ agriculture, Forestry/natural habitats, Aquatic/water systems, Bioenergy, Biomaterials

Staramaki is a Social Cooperative based in a rural region in the North of Greece in the area of Kilkis that utilizes the by-product of local wheat cultivation, to create a viable eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic straws and at the same time create employment opportunities for vulnerable groups of people, promote social cohesion, as well as local and regional development. Staramaki incorporates both environmental and social objectives, supporting the circular economy by capturing value from agricultural waste in order to produce a biomaterial.

What does “Staramaki” aim to achieve:

The production process is for the most part manual; the harvested wheat undergoes trimming, washing, sterilising and drying before it turns into drinking straws. The end product comes in three different lengths to suit all drinking needs. Notably, the material – wheat – does not alter the taste of the drink and the straw does not melt, as opposed to other available alternatives.
The circular business model of staramaki has been enhanced by the reuse of coffee residues collected from cafés in the region, by mixing them with the straw’s production waste to produce a natural fertiliser that is applied back to staramaki fields. Staramaki, in all its efforts, aims to engage the local society in adopting ecological behaviours and reducing their waste, changing people’s mindsets about what waste is by highlighting its value and its potential.