How we make our Bamboo Straws
How it all started
Since the beginning of our journey, we knew we wanted to create a brand of sustainable products that could really make a difference. We set out to find those products but we weren’t sure where to begin. One day, after walking Diego’s dog, Chili, on the beach, we were shocked to see the ridiculous amount of plastic waste that was lying around. It was uncanny. Plastic bottles, bags and the most annoying of them: plastic straws were everywhere. Eureka! We had to find a solution to the annoying little plastic straws as a starting point, that’s where we would begin.
After months of research, we found a young lady in central Bali called Wayan. Wayan and her soon-to-be husband, Gitok, had started experimenting with making Bamboo Straws. Their final product was nice, but far from what we thought should be a minimum standard in terms of quality. We decided to team up with them and continue evolving the final product so we could achieve a straw that wasn’t only sustainable, but that felt and looked incredibly premium and up to the highest standards possible.
In 2018, while looking to expand our operations and production a bit more, we came across another beautiful couple, Srii and Budi, who shared our values of quality, fairness, and sustainability. Our connection was an instant match, and since the beginning, we felt like Srii and Budi understood perfectly what we wanted to do with Bali Boo.
Nowadays, we are now proud to say that we have the best bamboo straws in the market, and are confident enough to stand by that statement. We take great care in carefully choosing the bamboo we work with, and our selecting, cutting, polishing, cleaning, sorting and quality control processes are now meticulously thought out. Every day that passes we put ourselves to the test and we always strive to perfect the processes even more so that we can always deliver the best product there can be.
How to make Bamboo Straws – Bali Boo Style!
Bamboo is the most sustainable plant on the planet, it can grow to a rate of up to 1m (3ft) per day. It needs no irrigation, reaches maturity in less than a year, and it is naturally antibacterial. Now that is what we call a super-plant!
At Bali Boo we take great care in only choosing the best materials for our products. That is why we chose Balinese Buluh bamboo for our straws.
We work with local farmers that harvest the bamboo in the most sustainable and organic way in the riverbeds of the mountains of northern Bali. They use no pesticides or chemicals. We also make sure to only cut the stems we need, letting the plant grow strong so it can continue fulfilling its duty with mother earth.
Once the stems are cut our team transforms them into straws. The whole process is completely handmade and without the use of any type of chemicals or heavy machinery. The first step is to dry the stems properly under the sun. This makes the bamboo get that beautiful brownish glow and hardens them enough to be able to work with them.
We then cut them exactly to a length of 20cm (8 inches) using a traditional Balinese knife. We do this by hand so we can be sure the tips don’t break or cut and are safe to sip from. Once they are cut to the perfect size, we sand them down to give them a smooth and clean finish, just how we like them.
The last step is probably the most important. Once cut and polished, the bamboo straws are washed with water one by one and then boiled for 40 minutes in water with vinegar to help disinfect them completely. They are then dried under the hot Balinese sun for a couple of hours before we pack them in a clean and safe environment.