Suckõrs, an Estonian company, produces drinking straws and other goods using reed as a raw material. Reed is a great alternative to plastic-made items. It is indeed largely available in Estonia and in the Baltic Sea Region as well as all over Europe. Moreover, Reed is quickly renewable and must be harvested. It is indeed important to harvest reed regularly to protect species and the quality of water across coastal meadows.
The production uses only environmentally friendly substances and energy-efficient processes thus resulting in a sustainable life-cycle of the product. Suckõrs’ products are completely biodegradable therefore helping to reduce the global plastic pollution.
Suckõrs’ reed products are left with the characteristic patterns that the sea, sun and wind have given the plant.
Using reed as a raw material allows to consume fully natural products with a life-cycle that will end in its complete degradation in the nature and enable consumers to make responsible choices.
- We are using a biodegradable and quickly renewable plant, which is abundantly available (approx. 2.4 M tonnes in the Baltic Sea region).
- Reed has to be cut down yearly in order to stop the overgrowth and to protect the variety of species. As such it incurs no loss to the environment, being a sustainable alternative to plastics.
- 100 000 reusable reed straws have a positive impact of 3 tonnes less CO2 emitted in production and 1.2 tonnes of less plastics used.
- Reed based products such as plates and packaging also contrast with other alternatives such as paper-based products that have a high opportunity cost and environmental impact.
- Currently the main challenges are in production, scaling-up and financing.
- Reed as a fully natural raw material greatly differs in dimensions and properties, therefore there is no automated process for production available that can comprehend all the specific aspects of reed and make a high quality end-product.
- There are many industrial processes applicable for reed based products scale-up, which need to be adapted regarding to the specifics.
- Because of the current manual production, the prices for reed products are not competitive in comparison with synthetic materials. We intend to reduce prices by using automation, but it will need additional funding and engineering competence
We are collaborating with the University of Tartu Institute of Physics for scientific development.The partnership has both helped us in materials development, testing and validation as well as straw production ideas generation.
We have participated in EIT Climate-KIC accelerator phase 1, organised by CleanTech forEST in Estonia. This has provided us with various lessons regarding business development, given to us by highly competent mentors and coaches