Meng Fanyao of Henan sees the value in biodegradable wheat straws, which once lay idle in the past.
With China’s increasing awareness of environmentalism however, the straws are now being put to use.
Having worked for some time away from his hometown, Meng returned to the countryside to start a business.
He found that the local wheat straws are tall, brightly colored and of wide diameter, so Meng decided to seize the business opportunity of molding the wheat straws into drinking straws and even handicrafts.
The straw business has helped improve his fellow villagers’ incomes as well, with Meng buying wheat straws from locals and also hiring some of them to work in his workshop.
With the trash-sorting rule taking effect recently, Meng is bullish on the sales of his wheat straw products, saying that as people have more environmental concerns, more and more will choose wheat instead of plastic straws, so as to reduce damage to the environment.
Meng has set up an online shop on Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce platform. According to him, his wheat straws have reached sales of 1 million each month.