4 Things About Recycled Paper Straws that Coffee Shop Should Know

4 Things About Recycled Paper Straws that Coffee Shop Should Know

Paper straws have become increasingly popular in recent years, being used in restaurants, cafes, and even at fairs. Here are four big things you should know about recycled paper straws!

Eco-friendly paper and its application for food and beverage packaging

Paper straws are replacing plastic straws

Plastic straws pose a significant environmental problem due to their non-biodegradable nature, taking hundreds of years to decompose. They contribute to plastic pollution, harming wildlife and ecosystems. To reduce plastic waste, paper straws have become a leading choice for many cafes and restaurants.

Paper straws are gradually replacing plastic straws in various sectors, including:

  • Coffee shops and bubble tea shops: Many establishments have switched to using paper straws entirely or offer them upon customer request.
  • Restaurants: Paper straws are used in restaurants that serve beverages, especially smoothies and juices.
  • Supermarkets and convenience stores: Paper straws are widely available in supermarkets and convenience stores, making them easily accessible for consumers.
  • Events and festivals: Paper straws are used at events and festivals to reduce plastic waste.

Paper straws are favored for various reasons, including:

  • Reduced plastic waste: Paper straws biodegrade within 6-12 months, minimizing the amount of plastic waste accumulating in the environment, particularly in oceans. According to statistics, over 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans annually, including 1 billion straws.
  • Brand image: Using paper straws demonstrates a business's commitment to environmental sustainability and can attract eco-conscious customers.
  • Government regulations: Many countries and regions have implemented bans or restrictions on plastic straws, promoting the use of paper alternatives.

Paper Straws: A Diverse Range of Options

Paper straws can be categorized in various ways, including:

By Material:

  • Virgin paper straws: Made from 100% paper pulp, these are typically biodegradable and suitable for cold beverages.
  • Coated paper straws:
    • Bio-based coating: Made from materials like PLA (polylactic acid) or sugarcane, enhancing durability and water resistance.
    • Traditional coating: Made from PE plastic, which is non-biodegradable.

By Size:

  • Standard size straws: Approximately 6mm in diameter, suitable for regular drinks like juice and coffee.
  • Large size straws: Approximately 8mm or larger in diameter, suitable for thick drinks like smoothies and milkshakes.
  • Small size straws: Approximately 4mm in diameter, suitable for children or those who prefer to sip slowly.

At Kimecopak, we offer 8mm and 12mm paper straws that are compatible with various beverages, including thick drinks like milkshakes and smoothies, and even bubble tea. 

By Design:

  • Color: White, kraft, or customized colors.
  • Pattern: Plain, logo printed, or custom printed patterns.

The choice of paper straw type depends on the business's needs and preferences.

Paper Straws Environmental Impact - More Than You Think

Paper straws are often touted as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. However, their environmental impact warrants careful consideration.

Positive Aspects:

  • Reduced plastic waste: Paper straws are typically biodegradable, significantly reducing plastic waste and contributing to environmental and wildlife protection.
  • Free of harmful chemicals: Unlike plastic straws, paper straws generally do not contain harmful chemicals like BPA, making them safer for human health.

Negative Aspects:

  • Production: Paper production, even with recycled materials, consumes energy and water. According to a study by the University of British Columbia, producing 1 ton of recycled paper requires 7,000 kWh of electricity, 2.5 million liters of water, and emits 2 tons of greenhouse gases.
  • Ink and coating: Some paper straws are coated with plastic or wax to enhance durability and water resistance. This coating can pollute the environment if not disposed of properly.
  • Decomposition: Paper straws only decompose completely under suitable conditions, such as in a composting environment. If not discarded correctly, paper straws can persist in the environment for years.

Therefore, when businesses choose paper straws for their establishments, the following considerations are crucial:

  • Material: Opt for paper straws made from 100% recycled paper and free of harmful coatings. Prioritize paper straws with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification to ensure sustainable sourcing of raw materials from well-managed forests.
  • Source: Favor paper straws produced locally or regionally to minimize carbon emissions from transportation.
  • Rational use: Use straws only when necessary and prioritize reusable straws like metal or glass straws if possible.
  • Post-use disposal: Dispose of paper straws properly in organic waste bins to ensure complete decomposition.

4. Not Just Paper Straws: More Eco-Friendly Options Abound!

Paper straws are just one type of bio straws. They aren't the only alternative to plastic straws. Your business has a wide range of options, suitable for both single-use and reusable purposes. Here are some popular choices:

Sugarcane Straws

  • Made from a renewable resource.
  • Often compostable and biodegradable.
  • Sturdy and water-resistant.

Plant-based Straws

  • Made from various plant-based materials like corn starch or cassava.
  • Typically, biodegradable and commercially compostable.
  • Often have good heat resistance.

Bamboo Straws

  • Highly durable and reusable.
  • Naturally antibacterial and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Requires proper cleaning and drying to prevent mold growth.

Paper straws and these alternatives are currently available on our website kimecopak.ca. To learn more about pricing and special offers, please visit our website or contact us directly via email at halo@kimecopak.ca or through our Facebook fanpage.

In conclusion, paper straws are a worthy consideration as a replacement for plastic straws. However, your business has many other options to participate in the green movement!

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