Problem statement

In Greece, plastic straws are consumed every year, while the EC's announcement in 2020 on the banning of several single-use plastic products comes into force. At the same time, unemployment in Kilkis reaches 50% wthile the isssue of rural depopulation is serious and the percentage of extreme poverty in Greece reaches 15%. Staramaki uses the by-product of wheat cultivation in various rural regions of Greece to create natural wheat stems as alternative to single use plastic straws and contributing to the income of struggling local economies.

Executive summary

Staramaki is a straw made of wheat. It is produced by a social cooperative KoinSep in Kilkis, situated in rural Northern Greece. The most widely produced local product – wheat – is used to create a viable eco-friendly alternative to single use plastic straws.

Technology description

The Staramaki products are made from the stalk that is left over when wheat grains are harvested. The wheat stems are reaped mechanicaly after harvest and collected by hand. Harvested stems are stored according to origin and date of harvest, preselected and trimmed manually, using specially shaped stainless steel scissors. Trimmed stems are prewashed, boiled, rinsed, washed again in industrial units and dried to their final form. At the same time they create employment opportunities and promote social cohesion, as well as local and regional development.

Market deployment considerations

Competition with products from China or USA.

Environmental considerations


Technology feedstock

stubble wheat

Type of process


Technology output

drinking straw


Village, Community

Technology Readiness Level







Private sector

Technology owner/developer

Staramaki Social Cooperative Enterprise
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