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Jose Cuervo creates sustainable drinking straws from agave fibres

Jose Cuervo has used fibrous material left over from the tequila-making process to develop a sustainable alternative to regular plastic straws.

Created in partnership with BioSolutions Mexico and Penka, the agave-based straws fully biodegrade within one to five years in landfill conditions.

In 2020, millions of Jose Cuervo biodegradable agave-based straws will be rolled out at bars, restaurants and Jose Cuervo events across the US and Mexico in a bid to reduce the consumption of regular plastics from the tequila-drinking experience.

Jose Cuervo has spent years exploring the potential of agave fibre as an alternative to plastic, paper, housing bricks and fuel. According to the tequila producer, working with partners BioSolutions Mexico and Penka marks the beginning of the rapid innovation needed to produce these sustainable items at scale.

“The past, present and future of Jose Cuervo is tied directly to the agave plant – without it, we would not exist,” said Alex Coronado, master distiller and head of operations at Jose Cuervo.

“It takes an average of six years to grow an agave plant before it is mature enough to harvest for tequila production, and we have to be committed to finding more ways to use the agave fibres once that process is complete. The debut of our biodegradable, agave-based drinking straws is a new step in utilising the full potential of this very special Mexican agricultural product.”

The agave-based straws feature a mouthfeel and texture similar to traditional plastic straws, with the agave fibres creating a natural tan colour.

“As a by-product of the tequila industry, agave fibre is a rich resource we have harnessed to create an everyday, more sustainable alternative to plastic,” said Ana Laborde, CEO and founder of BioSolutions Mexico and Penka.

“The agave fibre in our bio-based composites is an ideal material that not only works as a replacement to plastic, but simultaneously reduces the dependency on petroleum-based polymers, fossil fuels and water for the production of our straws.”
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