How Do Paper Straws Work

The rolls come in many different sizes and lengths, and they’re an easy way to cut your own custom length for your drink! Check out this blog post to learn more about how paper straws work. 

They are a recent invention that has been popularized as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. Paper straws can be made from any type of paper, but the most common is natural brown kraft paper.

How Do Paper Straws Work

What is Paper Straws?

Paper straws are drinking straws that are made out of paper. Paper straws can be used for hot and cold drinks. They are often used at home, in restaurants, and bars.

Paper straws were originally developed in the 1800s. Because paper isn’t as sturdy as plastic or metal, paper straws do not work well with thick liquids such as smoothies and milkshakes. Instead, paper straws are often used with water, juice, iced tea, and other non-thick drinks.

How Do Paper Straws Work?

Paper straws work by sucking up the fluid they come into contact with. This is because paper straws are very thin. Paper straw is about 0.03 cm (0.01 inches) wide, making it easy for fluid to move along the straw and into your mouth.

Most paper straws are made from two pieces of paper. The outside looks the same on both sides, but the inside has been hollowed out.

Paper straws are made by sandwiching a drinking straw between two pieces of paper and then heating the layers around the straw to fuse and form one solid piece of paper. This inexpensive and easy-to-work-with paper makes great straws perfect for sipping!

In addition, paper straws are reusable and biodegradable, which means that they will not pollute the environment even if you throw them out.

How Are They Made?

Paper straws are made of paper pulp, a mixture of water, wood, or fiber. The fiber may be recycled material from newspapers or business papers, which is where the paper for your office copier comes from; old telephone book pages are also used.

However, when water is added to this mixture, it becomes quite soupy, and the fibers are not very strong.

A substance called sodium hydroxide (lye) is added to strengthen the fibers, which decomposes the fibers into cellulose xanthate. When this solution is allowed to sit for several hours or days at room temperature, it becomes stiff and shaped.

Difference Between Paper Straws and Plastic Straws:

Difference between paper straws and plastic straws are many.

Difference Between Paper Straws and Plastic Straws

Paper Straws

  1. Made from a variety of plant sources
  2. Tend to cost more than plastic straws (however, some people will pay extra for eco-friendly straws)
  3. Come with or without a bend (can’t be very long without the bend, but bends can be bought separately and added to straight paper straws if desired; also, plastic straws are straight)
  4. Are compostable and biodegradable
  5. Are not typically recyclable (though some paper straws are)

Plastic Straws

  1. They are essentially disposable, as they do not break or clog, can last for many years without degrading.
  2. Tend to be cheaper than paper straws (however, people will pay extra for something they think is better for the environment)
  3. Come in many different colors and shapes, and straws are often made to look like animals or other objects.
  4. They are not usually compostable or biodegradable (however, some straws are recyclable)
  5. Tend to be more harmful to the environment than paper straws.

8 Benefits of Using Paper Straws:

1. Paper straws are biodegradable and much more environmentally friendly than plastic straws

2. You can get paper straws in any color you want because they are all-natural dyes

3. Paper straws come flavored (and unflavored) for those who like to drink their beverages with a little taste

4. Paper straws are now available in a variety of different sizes for all beverages

5. Some paper straws come with fun designs, making them great for themed parties or events

6. Their price point makes them economical to give out as-you-go party decorations

7. They work well when stuck into cut fruit such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.

8. Paper straws are great for restaurants that want to show their eco-friendly side and add a touch of fun to the table without going overboard

Disadvantages of Using Paper Straws:

While paper straws are very inexpensive and eco-friendly

While paper straws are inexpensive and eco-friendly, they also have disadvantages. We have mentioned some of them down below:

1. Some people don’t find them sturdy enough for drinking thick beverages like milkshakes, smoothies, or frozen cocktails; straws can also get soggy and fall apart when wet. In addition, paper straws cannot be used for carbonated beverages.

2. Paper straws are not reusable like plastic ones and must be thrown away every time they are used.

3. Paper straws also don’t work well with thicker beverages like smoothies or shakes because they tend to get soggy and fall apart if wet at all, unlike plastic straws, which can be kept in drinks for a long time without any issue.

4. Paper straws also cannot be used with carbonated beverages because of their porous nature and the chance of getting stuck in the drinker’s throat.

5. Paper straws break down relatively quickly when exposed to moisture or sunlight, so they do not last very long.

Paper Straw Alternatives:

They’re cheap, biodegradable, and versatile. But not everyone can have them. So here are some alternatives to paper drinking straws.

1) Reuse plastic or metal ones

2) If you think you’ll need longer than 7 days’ worth of straws, buy a reusable stainless steel one and some floss

3) If you’re low on money, make some from gum wrappers or aluminum foil. (This only works in countries where they give gum out for free)

4)Cut up a strip of paper towel, fold it over and tape the end together so that no water leaks through. You can even decorate it!

5) Use a bendy straw instead.

6) If you have a stainless steel straw, get rid of it and buy one made out of glass or metal

7) Use recycled paper instead of non-recycled. For example, making your own photocopies; use scrap paper for notecards

Paper or Plastic: Which One Should You Use?

Although paper straws seem to be a step in the right direction for eco-friendly products, there are certain disadvantages associated with them that people need to be made aware of before making any decisions. Paper straws can give your party and drinks an ‘eco’ feel, but they may not be the best choice for everyone.

Plastic straws do not have the same disadvantages, but they are less eco-friendly than paper ones if you need one or the other. Finally, if you’re using straws as an accessory to your drink, then some colorful paper straws might be exactly what you’re looking for!

Whether you should use paper or plastic depends on what you’re planning to do with the straws and how long you intend for them to last.


Paper straws are an eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to plastic straws. They’re a great choice for people who want to help save the environment and work just as well at getting your drink through a lid!

If you’re looking for a more sustainable drinking way, consider switching out your paper straws for reusable glassware instead! Also, if you’re interested in finding out more about how paper straws work or if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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