Mexico’s Jose Cuervo Tradicional has a long history of working toward a sustainable future. Now the company has taken things a step—or two—further by launching The Agave Project. It’s an overarching initiative to continue the family’s commitment to the land and people of Tequila and Mexico, while harnessing the full potential of the agave plant.

“We realize that people around the globe still don’t know the full extent of agave’s potential applications beyond tequila,” explains Alex Coronado, head distiller and master of operations for Jose Cuervo. “With 11 generations of expertise in working with this succulent plant, we have the unique opportunity to educate the world on the viability of agave fiber as a sustainable alternative to other materials.”

The Agave Project has recently debuted a biodegradable, bio-based drinking straw made from upcycled agave fibers. Developed in partnership with scientists at BioSolutions Mexico and the production team at Mexico-based PENKA, the straws will be available at select bars and restaurants in the United States and Mexico this year. The agave-based straws feature a mouthfeel and texture similar to traditional plastic straws, with the agave fibers visibly creating a natural, organic tan color.

“It takes an average of six years to grow anm agave plant before it’s mature enough to harvest for tequila production,” says Coronado. “We have to be committed to finding more ways to use the agave fibers once that process is complete.”

The Jose Cuervo company has spent years researching how best to use agave waste and has realized the spent fibers have potential as an alternative to traditional plastic, paper, housing bricks, and fuel. It’s also provided fibers to businesses looking at possible uses in fields as wide-ranging as beauty products and automotive parts.