How paper straws help reduce single-use plastics and plastic waste. Introducing IPI’s paper straws
The Global Paper and Plastic Straw market in 2020
Plastic straw consumption was ballooning in the last few years, but a perfect storm of cultural and political change may put it at risk. For one, rising concerns over climate change have fueled a progressive intolerance towards single-use plastic. Consumers have changed. There's a growing attitude in the general public to look for sustainable products, and customers are willing to pay more for it, the Generation Z in particular. To put it simply, sustainability sells.
At the same time, customers demand the adoption of sustainable practices from corporations. The trend towards eco-friendly goods and services is getting traction also among small and medium enterprises. A study by Harvard Business Review found that "a company with a sustainability agenda is better positioned to anticipate and react to economic, social, environmental, and regulatory changes as they arise." As a matter of fact, in the largest study on climate change data and corporations, 72% of respondents declared that climate change poses a threat to their operations, revenue, or expenditures.
This trend is not limited to the business world. The shift in public sentiment, combined with massive media coverage, has led to widespread reforms of government policy, such as restrictions or outright bans of disposable plastic. On this line, the most notable was the EU's ban on single-use plastic items, taking effect by 2021. The European Union, though, is not alone. Many countries are preparing a ban, and, as a result, plastic straws are giving ground to paper straws.
Indeed, according to a recent report, the global paper and plastic straw market was valued at approximately $4.476 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $9.051 billion by 2025. This amounts to a CAGR of around 10.6% between 2019 and 2025. By comparison, the paper straw market is moving faster, registering a CAGR of 13.8% between 2019 and 2027, boosted by new legislation and a rising demand for paper straws in the food service end-use industry.
Some argue that paper straws have a lower carbon footprint than plastic straws, although there is no scientific consensus on the topic. Whatever the case, paper straw manufacturing, as of today, poses much less of an environmental threat than plastic straws. The latter, in actual fact, represents a danger not just due to greenhouse gas emissions, but also because of all issues involved in plastic waste disposal and the resulting microplastic pollution, which damages our soil, our oceans, and our species.
Advantages of paper straws versus plastic straws
Paper straws have several aces up their sleeves. They are hygienic, hold up during the course of a meal, and once discarded, they degrade much faster than those made with plastic. Most importantly, they feel more natural to the touch, and, in the eyes of the consumers, express the increasing demand for corporate and social responsibility.
It is not just a feeling, though. Paper straws are more natural, as they come from natural, renewable sources while plastic is made from fossil fuel combustion. On top of that, paper straws are easily recyclable. Plastic straws, on the other hand, have a lifespan of a single drink, with the result that in Europe alone 25.3 plastic straws are consumed every year.
A closer look at IPI’s paper straws
In the global paper straws’ landscape, IPI is among the first movers in the market, providing one of the first market-ready alternatives to plastic straws for beverage aseptic carton packs. IPI’s paper straw solution is designed to be used on aseptic carton portion-size packaging and excels in both efficiency and sustainability. The composition is strictly compliant with the EU's upcoming regulation. Finally, IPI’s paper straws are white, 100% PEFC-certified, and come from natural and completely renewable sources.
The attention for the environment is not new to IPI. On the contrary, IPI’s entire business strategy is built upon sustainability. Let us remember that IPI provides its customers with sustainable aseptic carton packages made with FSC®-certified paperboard from responsibly managed forests. On top of that, it is one of the few companies in the aseptic packaging business to be certified against the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). Ultimately, the launch of IPI’s line of paper straws is part of a broader strategy - a sustainability roadmap towards 100% renewable packaging material.
In conclusion, paper straws, if we also take into account the challenge of plastic waste and pollution, are the most sustainable solution on the market. In this regard, IPI’s drinking paper straws are one step ahead, as they embody the urgency for a viable alternative to plastic.
For more information about paper and plastic straws, do not hesitate to contact us.