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Jose Cuervo Wants to Save the World With Agave Fiber Straws

They're more sturdy than paper straws, and more biodegradable than plastic ones.

Jose Cuervo is launching a new product—and no, it's not another margarita mix. Rather, the popular tequila of parties and dive bars revealed that they'll be debuting a biodegradable straw in 2020.

As part of a new initiative dubbed The Agave Project, the company will start producing zero-waste straws made from agave fiber in an attempt to offer a sustainable alternative to plastic straws (or the paper straw options that many restaurants and bars have moved toward recently). Made from the leftover fibrous material of the agave plant—the primary ingredient in both tequila and mezcal—it will be able to be consumed by microorganisms after use, and it will fully biodegrade within one to five years in landfill conditions. As the first straw of its kind, it's predicted that these agave fiber straws will decompose up to 200 times faster than a traditional plastic straw.

RELATED: The Beginner's Guide to Cooking and Eating Sustainably

jose cuervo biodegradable straws in glass
Courtesy of Jose Cuervo

Not only will this move help to further inspire the need to reduce global plastic consumption, but it will also help to ensure that every part of the agave plant is utilized, so that none of it goes to waste. (You don't need us to tell you how massive a problem food waste is.) What's more is that no fossil fuels are required to produce these agave fiber straws, which means they won't contribute to the human population's rapidly increasing carbon footprint.

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"As a byproduct of the tequila industry, agave fiber is a rich resource we have harnessed to create an everyday, more sustainable alternative to plastic," Ana Laborde, CEO and Founder of BioSolutions Mexico and PENKA, said in a press release. "The agave fiber 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."

If you're worried that agave fiber straws will be similar to paper straws—in that they disintegrate before you can get a third of the way through your iced latte—worry not: This innovation mimics the texture and feel of the plastic options you're most used to, so you can keep sipping without the straw falling apart.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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