THE boss of a fledgling eco-friendly business is celebrating after doubling production and winning key American and European clients.

Heidi Adamson launched The Last Straw from her home in Bromley Cross after she realised that individuals and businesses wanted to play their part in helping the planet, by picking up her ‘green’ straws.

She grew up in South Africa, later moving to Blackburn then Bolton, enjoying careers in sales and administration and was latterly a technical author.

Heidi said: “I’d always made personalised gifts for friends and colleagues and had an online shop for handicraft products. However, I wanted to spend more time at home with my two boys.”

A friend mentioned metal straws used in New Zealand so she wanted to source and sell her own personalised stainless steel versions.

She found a supplier who customised the sizes of the straws and started selling three differently-sized straws and a cleaning brush in a cotton bag.

Heidi added: “David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series was making the headlines then and the image of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose stayed with a lot of people. They wanted an alternative to plastic.”

She quickly realised the interest in corporate branding for her straws and her first showcase was with Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Her first major client was the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Word quickly spread about The Last Straw and Heidi had an order from the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas followed by the Bulgari Hotel in London.

Ralph Lauren UK took more than 12,000 and other clients include Edition Hotel in West Hollywood and the Principality of Monaco.

Heidi sold 35,000 in her first year and is on course to double that in her second.

“If each metal straw we sold was used just once a day, that is over 12.7 million plastic straws not used over a year,” she added.