Cebu-based startup sells pencils that can grow into plants

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — What can be done to a pencil when it's worn down to its nib?

Eco Hub, a startup based in Cebu, pitches that one can grow plants from it by simply placing the stub on a moist soil. The social enterprise sells "plantable" pencils with an initial price of ₱20.

The product is no different to regular pencils, except that its tail end is a "gelatin capsule" that contains plant seeds instead of an eraser enclosed in a metal case. One can choose from tomato, sunflower, carrot, or citronella seeds, among others.

"This gives it a new lease on life. Instead of being thrown away, the plantable pencil becomes a symbol of sustainability," the startup said in a Facebook post.

Eco Hub, which also sells other sustainable products such as reusable straws and utensils, said the pencils are safe and natural.

It said the capsules are preservative-free, non-GMO, allergen-free, and gluten-free. The pencil, meanwhile, doesn't contain lead and is made of sustainable wood, graphite, clay, and non-GMO seeds.

A pencil, according to the group, can grow as fast as five to ten days depending on the kind of seed on it.

Buyers can add personal touch to the pencil by putting a logo or message. This is available for those who buy at least 500 pieces of the product.