The War on Plastic: Sustainable Paper Straws

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Paper is a great natural and sustainable alternative to plastics – the use of which we all know we need to reduce.  Business Optimizer discovers paper straws are the latest battleground in the rush to switch to paper.

Manufacturing company Huhtamaki is inviting us all to switch to paper drinking straws.  It says its paper drinking straws will play an important role in helping people enjoy their cold beverages.

The straws are made from 100 percent PEFC-certified paper from sustainably managed forests.  The food-grade paper is compliant with leading food safety certifications, including FDA regulations, and have been certified for food safety in Europe, China and the USA.

There has been growing awareness of the vital need to move away from single-use plastics.  And drinking straws are certainly an almost-ubiquitous example of single-use plastic use.

By contrast, natural paper straws are a sustainable and responsible choice.  The switch could be a simple step forward in our societal move away from plastic.  Huhtakmaki points out that switching to paper straws will help to reduce plastic consumption and minimise the environmental pollution caused by plastic waste.

The problem of environmental pollution was highlighted in the BBC documentary series Blue Planet II.  In the TV show, Sir David Attenborough highlighted the damage plastic waste was doing to the world’s oceans.  The renowned naturalist has since said he has been “wowed” by the public response to the issue.

Growing public awareness of the problem has certainly helped to encourage high-street chains and food retailers to make the switch to paper.  A number of fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway have all made it clear they intend to switch away from single-use plastic as the European Union (EU) clamps down on plastic.

In 2018, McDonalds announced it would make the switch to paper straws in the UK after nearly half a million people called on the company to ditch them.  The fast-food chain uses 1.8m straws a day, but says plastic straws will go by 2019.

Other innovative packaging solutions are helping retailers and fast-food outlets make the switch to paper too.  Meanwhile, Huhtamaki is hoping its innovation will help it to suck up a greater share of the drinking straw market.