How Long Do Paper Straws Last?

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2023)

Many of us are still using single-use plastic straws without thinking twice. Of course, they are, after all, incredibly convenient. However, this consumer behavior is costing us and it is time to make better choices. To help curb the damage, people and businesses are shifting towards using eco-friendly straws.

These include paper straws, sugarcane straws, bamboo straws, compostable straws, and much more. If you are also thinking of making the switch to a paper straw, you might be wondering how long do paper straws last. Here is everything you need to know about paper straws.

Plastic Straws And Paper Straws

Plastic Straw Vs. Paper Straw

Let’s first take a deep dive into plastic straws and paper straws. Plastic straws have been around for decades upon decades now. We are finally realizing the negative impact they create on the environment. This is why you will notice the emergence of plastic straw bans in many regions.

Such bans are placed to eliminate the use of plastic straws to prevent the environment from further harm. Here are some reasons people are moving away from plastic straws.

  • They contain toxic chemicals
  • The manufacturing process of plastic straws produces a lot of waste
  • Plastic straws have negative effects on marine life and our landfills
  • Production of plastic straws requires more fossil fuels
  • Plastic straws leach toxic chemicals when used for long in hot drinks

Of course, these are only some of the reasons that businesses and individuals are moving away from plastic straws. Instead, there is a rise in demand for paper straws and other such green straws.

Advantages Of Paper Straws

Homestraw paper straws

A paper straw is biodegradable and compostable, which is why many global brands are moving towards it. Although what makes paper straws so popular? To help you understand, here are the advantages of paper straws.

1. Free Of Chemicals

Paper straws are free of chemicals, as there are no chemical treatments that take place during the production process. These straws are free of BPA and other chemicals that harm the human body. You will be providing your customers with a safe and healthy option to consume their beverages.

Paper straws are made of natural fiber, which is why you never have to worry about toxins. This is perhaps one of the top advantages of opting for high-quality paper straws.

2. Reduces Environmental Impact

As a business, you need to do everything you can to reduce environmental impact. Doing this will enable you to reduce plastic waste and do your part in helping the planet. Many customers appreciate such efforts by businesses and take note of it.

In the long run, moving towards paper straws will boost your brand image and help you retain customers. So, if you want to become a sustainable business by decreasing the impact your business has on the environment, then opt for paper or other green straws.

3. Take Less Time To Decompose

One of the top advantages of paper straws is that they only take between two and six weeks to decompose naturally. On the other hand, plastic straws can take hundreds of years to break down. You can use such straws once and not feel guilty about your ecological footprint because these straws are environmentally friendly.

That is because even when such straws decompose, they don’t cause any harm to the surrounding environment and wildlife, unlike plastic. You can also dispose of paper straws at recycling facilities. They will take care of the straws and ensure that they are reused to help save the planet.

4. Affordable When Purchased In Bulk

Recycled paper is an abundant material. As a result, it is not costly for the manufacturers to source this material and create paper straws out of it. Of course, this means that such straws are sold at a reasonable price. This is similar to plastic straws cost, which is also quite affordable.

Keep in mind that paper straws will be relatively expensive if you buy them individually. However, when you buy them in bulk, these straws will be incredibly affordable for you. In the long run, these eco-friendly straws will lower your cost while guaranteeing that you receive a high return on investment.

5. Customization Options

You can customize the paper straws in any way you like. For example, you can customize it in various color schemes or get your business logo or name printed on it. Different manufacturers will provide you with unique customization options.

A great way to boost your brand awareness is to select the color palette of your brand and print it on the straws. On the other hand, you can also have customized and themed drinking paper straws for festive occasions. The possibilities are endless with these straws.

6. Lightweight

Many businesses think about opting for metal straws or other such materials as a sustainable option. However, these types of straws are bulky, heavy, and take up a lot of space. Of course, paper straws don’t pose this problem because they are incredibly lightweight.

You can store these straws for a long time and even transport them from one place to another. Besides that, they are also a great lightweight option if you provide takeaways to your customers. It will enable you to offer takeaways that are easier to manage.

Characteristics Of Paper Straws

Now that you are familiar with the advantages of paper straws, it is also just as important to understand the characteristics of these straws. After all, the features will help you decide whether these straws are worth it for use or not.

Here are some of the top characteristics of paper straws you need to know about.

1. Recyclable

A great characteristic of paper straws is that they are recyclable. You can send these paper straws recyclable to recycling facilities and they will easily gather with the rest of the paper for recycling. If you want to lower your carbon footprint, then these straws can prove to be ideal.

2. Fully Biodegradable

Paper straws are completely biodegradable, therefore they don’t stay on the earth for hundreds of years. Instead, you only have to wait a few weeks for them to decompose within the soil. Paper will not pile up in the oceans and landfills such as plastic.

So, if you are looking for completely biodegradable straws, then paper straws are perfect. You can also choose to compost this material if you don’t want to dispose of it in the surrounding environment.

3. Various Lengths, Colors, And Shapes

You can choose from paper straws in various lengths, colors, and shapes. For example, if you are running a kid’s dessert shop, you can always opt for bear straws, flamingo straws, and other such designs. These straws will help you target your audience even better.

In the long run, parents will also want to take their kids to places that cater to their needs. Of course, you can opt for the paper straws of your choice, depending on who you are catering to. Once you do, you will get a lot of use out of them for a long time.

4. Hot And Cold Beverages

There is a misconception that paper straws are not useful at all for hot beverages. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as you can use them for hot and cold drinks. Keep in mind that there is a time limit to which a paper straw can stay inside a beverage.

For example, a high-quality paper straw will last eighteen hours in cold water and an hour in hot liquids. Because of this, you can easily serve the straw with all kinds of beverages. Of course, the straw works best with juices, sodas, milk, water, and much more.

5. Durable

Keep in mind that paper straws are not designed to be reused or last a long time when in use. However, if you plan on buying them in bulk and storing them, then they will last a long time. They are known to have a lengthy shelf life. These straws can easily last twelve months when they are in storage.

Because of this, you don’t have to worry about purchasing straws individually. Instead, you can purchase in bulk and keep using what you need. Doing this will also save your cost and time in the long run.

6. No Flavor

Metal or plastic straws might have a certain flavor that you may notice when you are consuming the beverage. However, this is not the case with paper straws. They don’t have any flavor, which is why the customers will only taste the beverage they are drinking.

Customers can enjoy the beverage without any metallic or chemical taste from metal or plastic. This is one of the top reasons to make the switch to paper straws as soon as possible.

How Long Do Paper Straws Last?

The durability of paper straws can make or break your decision to purchase these straws. An important thing to remember is that paper straws are not manufactured to be reused. Instead, these straws are disposable, and you can buy them in bulk and store them.

So, the shelf life of a paper straw should be considered separately. For example, when you keep paper straws stored in bulk, they will last you for around a year. However, you have to ensure that you store these straws at a temperature of 26°C for optimal results. Such a temperature will guarantee that the integrity of the straw remains when you want to use them.

It is also crucial that you ask the manufacturer how long their straws will last. That is because different manufacturers use different materials. Some can also use low-quality paper straws. So, be sure to compare this before you select a paper straw manufacturer.

What Is The General Consensus Of Consumers On Paper Straws?

It is important to understand what your target audience thinks about paper straws. That is because their attitude, beliefs, and preferences will guide their purchasing decisions. People are now moving towards sustainable practices. It is reported that more than 70% of consumers are happy to pay extra for sustainable items, such as paper straws.

As customers gain more awareness about paper straws, they are growing in popularity in no time. Because of this, it is important to educate customers about the importance of such straws and the benefits they have to offer. On the other hand, manufacturers must also ensure the quality of the straws to ensure that customers can keep buying them.

The general consensus of consumers on paper straws is positive, but not everyone takes this stance. That is because some customers think that paper will get soggy in their drinks. While this is true for many low-quality paper straws, the same is not the case with high-quality paper straws.

Companies must ensure the right production practices to guarantee that their paper straws don’t get soggy too soon. After all, there are a number of ways to maintain the quality of straws.  

How Can Companies Ensure That Their Paper Straws Do Not Get Soggy Too Soon?

Soggy paper straws 

Companies need to make sure that their paper straws don’t get soggy too soon so customers can keep buying them. The key is to guarantee the quality of the paper straw. That is because the quality has a direct effect on the straw’s integrity.

For example, if you are making low-quality paper straws, they will make the beverage taste bitter. On the other hand, these straws will also become soggy within the drink in no time. If you don’t want this to happen, then you must invest in better-quality paper straws.

The design has a direct impact on the characteristics of the paper straw. You can use various layers of high-quality paper to guarantee that the paper maintains its structure. In the long run, such practices will promote a positive reputation for paper straws and help you retain customers.

You can choose from 60 gsm or 120 gsm paper to maintain the quality. Of course, the latter is much stronger and sturdier and will hold well in all types of beverages. Be sure to test the paper straws in different beverages before you provide them to your customers.

How Long Do Paper Straws Last Compared To Other Straws?

To choose the best straw suited for your business, you must be aware of the durability of paper straws in comparison to other straws. Keep in mind that paper straws will last two hours or less in hot liquids and eighteen hours in cold beverages.

On the other hand, the straws will also decompose within the environment between 2 and 6 weeks after disposal. Now, let’s compare this to other types of straws so that you can make an informed decision.

Plastic Straws

Lifecycle of plastic 

Plastic straws will last an infinite amount of time in cold beverages. These straws will also last a long time in hot beverages, but sometimes, they can melt or warp due to the high temperature. Of course, this will only happen if the straw is in the drink for a few hours and the temperature is hot throughout.

Besides that, plastic straws also take more than two hundred years to decompose within the environment. Unfortunately, this material is everywhere in our landfills and oceans, making it a hazard.

Sugarcane Straws

Sugarcane straws 

Sugarcane straws are also a compostable and biodegradable alternative to plastic. These straws will last a long time in hot and cold beverages without disintegrating. Just make sure that you understand the heat resistance before you purchase them, as this depends on the quality.

Finally, these straws will take a few months to decompose. On the other hand, you can also send them to a composting facility if you want them to decompose faster and better.

Bamboo Fiber Straws

Bamboo fiber straws will last well in frozen and hot beverages. These straws will not introduce any new flavors to your drinks or dissolve within the drink. Bamboo straws take a few weeks to decompose within the environment.

On the other hand, these straws are not reusable, but they will easily last in any hot or cold beverage. The material will not disintegrate even if you add them to a hot beverage for a long period of time. Therefore, they are a great disposable alternative to plastic.

PLA Straws

PLA straws 

PLA straws are made of polylactic acid and these straws are also biodegradable. Once you dispose of these straws, they will naturally biodegrade within three months. On the other hand, such straws are also highly resistant to temperature.

Because of this, the PLA straws will not disintegrate in cold or hot beverages, which is why you can use them for your restaurant with ease. So, be sure to consider these straws as an alternative to plastic.

Final Thoughts

That was your complete guide to everything you need to know about how long paper straws last. These straws are compostable, biodegradable, recyclable, and have other benefits. Because of this, they are a great alternative to plastic straws.

So, if you are looking for the best paper straws that provide a high-quality experience, don’t look further than Homestraw. You can contact us today to find out more about our straws or get a free quote from us. Our customer support team is available at all times to help you out.

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