It takes a lot of agave plants to create a premium tequila — and after the process is done, there are tons and tons of agave fibers left over as a waste product. But one distillery in Mexico has found a way to turn that agave fiber waste into a bio-friendly solution to the plastic straw conundrum that continues to rile emotions among environmentalists up North. Last month Jose Cuervo Tequila announced an initiative to use their agave fiber leftovers to manufacture biodegradable straws that can be used once and then mulched for the garden — or even left outside to organically decompose in a matter of weeks back into harmless plant matter. The company says it wants to make a difference in the world’s ecosystem, and has already decided to phase out the sale of plastic bottles of tequila by the end of 2020. Their spirits will only be offered in glass bottles. Cuervo’s partners in the straw making process, BioSolutions Mexico, say that they are receiving tentative orders for straws from all the major soft drink industries and major fast food franchises in North America.
Jose Cuervo is also investigating ways to use their agave fiber waste to make bricks and even use as fuel at their own distilleries.