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Ivan and José, the two founders of Plash, holding edible coffee stir sticks. SUR
Meet the Malaga university students who plan to stir things up and cut down on plastic waste with their edible cutlery
Food and drink

Meet the Malaga university students who plan to stir things up and cut down on plastic waste with their edible cutlery

Iván Marmolejo and José Rojas have already approached several local hospitality businesses who are already using their novel drink stirring sticks

Matías Stuber

Malaga

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 17:38

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You use a stick to stir the coffee or tea and then, instead of throwing it away, you eat it. This is the business idea of Iván Marmolejo and José Rojas, two 20-year-olds from Malaga. They have created Plash, a company focused on making and marketing edible cutlery. The young entrepreneurs are starting out in a world in which they both see themselves working in the future.

Iván and José are operating in a market that is not new, but is not yet well established in Malaga. The idea came to the university friends turned business partners on a trip to Costa Rica where they observed the great waste of plastic generated by disposable sticks.

They had a light bulb moment and when they returned to Malaga they set up a project which, a few months later, is already beginning to show some success. In a conversation with SUR, Iván explains how the idea went from idea to reality. "We contacted a supplier in Barcelona and after receiving the first samples that convinced us, we started to get in touch with bars and cafés," he says.

Plash's edible sticks accompany a cup of coffee.
Plash's edible sticks accompany a cup of coffee. SUR

At the moment the edible sticks are already available in six cafés in Malaga province: De Grazia Coffee&BAR, Pura Vida Café Bar, Cafetería Prados, Rou Mate Café Bar, Bootes Cafés and Caramello Salato Café. They can also be found in Malaga's video game museum (OXO).

Iván and José went door-to-door to try to convince people in the hospitality trade to give them a chance. "It was a complicated time," recalls Iván. With hardly any investment, they needed to attract customers to get the wheels in motion.

The big question is: what do the edible sticks taste like and what are they made of? "About the taste, I would say that anyone who is curious should try them. But it is a pleasant taste. Our sticks are made from rice flour and have no added sugars. They are also suitable for vegans," Iván points out.

The young entrepreneurs are already thinking about the next steps to grow the company and are looking into the possibility of expanding the edible cutlery to forks, knives and spoons. Technically they say it would be possible. "This is just the beginning. What is clear to us is that we are in the world of entrepreneurship", says Iván.

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