Botanical Survey Of India To Use Bamboo From Andaman For Straws

The Government of India’s patent office granted a patent to the Botanical Survey of India to create and manufacture reusable straws from a species of bamboo found exclusively on the Andaman-Nicobar Island. Known as Schizostachyum andamanicum, the bamboo is characterised by its thin, green and hollow stems with long internodes, that BSI scientist Lal Ji Singh saw potential in developing as a straw.

Being the regional head and scientist at BSI’s Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre located in Port Blair, the patent – for which the application was filed in the year 2018 – has proven to be of potential value in boosting the economy of the island. Dr. Singh mentioned while interacting with the media that these reusable straws are a novel way to replace plastic ones and offer an organic alternative, and how technological development in this field will enable farmers and bamboo growers on the island to enhance their economic condition, if this endemic species is cultivated for commercial purposes.

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The Botanical Survey of India is a research organisation that was established in 1890 to identify plant species across the country that might possess economic value. Under the authority of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the BSI discovered the species of bamboo on the island about two decades ago. The proposed product of bamboo straws apart from being reusable are also easily decomposable, and has been strongly endorsed by Dr. Singh as one of the materials, apart from jute, that has the capacity to make significant environmental impact.