Food & Drink
4Eco founders Clare and Sandra

Surrey mums fight climate change with avocado stone drinking straws

By Kassandra Jiménez
December 17 2019, 11.40

Two mums from Surrey introduced straws made from discarded avocado stones to the UK earlier this year.

Clare Calow and Sandra Johnson, the country’s only distributors of the product, founded 4Eco believing it to be the most environmentally friendly alternative to single-use utensils.

Clare said: “There are a lot of plant-based products out there but not many of them are using waste products which is why we are unique.

“Retailers are trying to use less plastic, it’s going slowly and people are just starting to know it.

“It’s getting more and more interest. This is just the start.”

While avocado consumption in the UK is ever-rising, the stones are usually wasted.

Scott Munguia, the creator of Biofase products, decided to use those stones to create single-use cutlery and straws.

Clare and Sandra discovered the Mexican-based company and began importing the straws to the UK.

As mums, they say they want to make a difference to future generations and ‘help the world’.

They believe that people in the UK are more aware of plastic pollution nowadays and often try to choose the eco-friendly option when it comes to single-use plastics.

The most sustainable takeaway cutlery items on the market before 4Eco’s founding were made from wood or paper and the 4Eco founders say that, although these products are a better option than plastic, they are not ideal.

While the straws are durable, hot and cold food friendly and have a low carbon footprint, the avocado industry has been faced with allegations of deforestation, illegal plantations and drug cartels.

These are 4Eco’s biggest challenges when promoting their product.

Clare said: “In our opinion the problem is going to go from plastic to deforestation.

“Biofase is a fairtrade company. It works with all the farmers and it’s putting money back into the area.

“There are now groups of farmers that are working together, and we are part of that process.”

With the UK introducing a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in 2020, Clare and Sandra hope that retailers around the UK turn their eyes towards them.

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