Class of 2021
29 / Lund, Sweden
From Bangalore, India
The India-born innovator tackling plastic use with edible straws
At a time when no one can ignore the damage that plastic consumption does to the planet, Divya Mohan has created a responsible, sustainable and practical solution. While studying at Lund University, the Bangalore-born entrepreneur began a project to tackle the problem of one billion plastic straws being used every single day globally, making them the seventh biggest polluter of the ocean. Enter Ooble, the start-up she founded to produce edible straws made from cereal flours and plant oils.
While paper straws go soggy and metal ones are mainly decorative, Ooble’s edible straws remain sturdy in liquids for over 45 minutes, allowing consumers to eat them once they’ve finished their drink. They’re currently available in chocolate or cinnamon and will eventually be sold in flavours that complement the drink, be it a cocktail, smoothie or juice. The straws have no impact on the taste of the beverage while you’re sipping it – you only taste them when you eat them.
With a first-class degree in biotechnology and a masters in food innovation and product design, Divya is a talented and focused disruptor with a conscience; her goal is to bridge innovation and sustainability in food to create solutions that are kinder to the planet. Her challenge now is to create straws with different nutritional profiles and to expand into other sustainable food packaging alternatives.
“My inspiration comes from nature, which is beautifully designed to be sustainable and balanced. The act of growing a single plant can teach you more about design and engineering than any course ever could.” – Divya Mohan