When I hear rice straw, I immediately think of those pasta-looking alternatives to plastic straws that some eco-conscious restaurants are now using. But the natural and original rice straw is the byproduct of rice production that are mostly just discarded and burned after the harvest. There’s only a small percentage of it that is used for the production of things like paper, fertilizers, animal feed, etc. So we need more products that will be able to reuse this material.
Designer: Ze-Qi Wang, Qing-Yun Qian, Fang-Yuan Wan & Dan-Dan Zhu
The Third Size is a product concept that utilizes rice straw to create not just the tissue but the boxes they come in as well. As anyone who has lived without a bidet or who suffers from various allergies and sicknesses, tissue paper is among the most used materials. In reality, just a small part of it is used and the rest is discarded. Re-using it comes with so many hygiene and medical issues. Some of them come in disposable boxes so the container is also part of waste.
Using biodegradable and recyclable materials like rice straw can help in limiting wastage. Third Size is a multi-size carton that can hold replaceable tissue packs. The different-sized holes lets you choose which size tissue you’ll be needing, whether to blow your nose, to wipe off a table, or to do your business in the bathroom. The box is sturdy enough to be re-used several times over and can even be used as a container for other stuff if you have no need for tissue paper.
With the rate of utilization of rice straw being quite low, products like this should help lessen the wasteful and sometimes hazardous disposal of this rice by-product. Tissue paper made from recyclable is not always the most comfortable especially for bathroom business but I’d take sustainability over comfort any day. Well, most of the time.