MANILA – In time for the opening of classes on Monday, a startup business in Cebu is offering a pencil that can be planted when it's already too short to use.
Pegged at an introductory price of P20, the "plantable" pencil of Eco Hub Cebu is designed like a regular pencil. However, instead of an eraser enclosed in metal case, a gelatin capsule is placed at the tip of pencil.
The capsule contains the seed of various plants including mint, carrot, basil, morning glory, lucky flower, chili, sunflower, and tomato.
The startup said in an FAQ post on its Facebook page that the capsule on the pencil is preservative-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), allergen-free, and gluten-free.
The pencil is also natural and non-toxic, it said.
The time it takes for the seed to sprout depends on the plant variant. One of the known variants is basil, Eco Hub Cebu said, because it grows between five and 10 days after being planted.
"The plantable pencil is our newest eco-baby," said owner Mary Rose Arnejo in an online exchange with ABS-CBN News.
"We saw this first from Sprout World (the first company to produce this product), and thought of providing this to our fellow advocates as another alternative to everyday use," she added.
Currently, Eco Hub Cebu sources the parts and assembles it into plantable pencils. It said it is looking at producing all parts locally so it "can help more people have income."
The plantable pencils are available for purchase on Eco Hub Cebu Facebook page.