It’s time for you to order merchandise for your restaurant again. You need condiments, spices, paper towels, and drinking straws. Before you order plastic again, why don’t you consider switching to paper straws instead?

With so many states putting a ban on plastic products you’re most likely going to have to make the switch one day anyway. Why not let it be today? Paper straws can be a little more expensive but they are also biodegradable, recyclable, and they break down faster than plastic straws.

To help you figure out if paper is the way you want to go, check out this quick guide to see all of the facts.

1. Why the Ban on Plastic?

A lot of states are banning plastic straws and other products in favor of more environmentally friendly products. Plastic isn’t recyclable, it takes forever to break down, and they are harmful to marine life.

They’re Not Recyclable

Most recycling programs don’t take plastic because they are hard to sort due to how small and lightweight they are. A small percent of them do get recycled but it’s not enough to make much of a difference.

More of them are thrown in a landfill then are recycled. From the landfill, they end up in oceans where they take hundreds of years to break down.

They Take Too Long to Break Down

Plastic straws can take anywhere between 200 hundred and 500 years to break down. When it does begin the process it breaks down into smaller pieces called microplastics.

Fish and other marine life eat these bits of microplastic mistaking them for food. Consuming that much plastic isn’t good for any living creature.

They Are Harmful to Marine Life and to You

Chances are when you eat fish, you’re consuming at least a small bit of the microplastic that they have ingested. It isn’t good for them and it’s not good for you either.

Plastic straws that haven’t broken down into microplastic can still be harmful to marine life. Plastic straws have been known to get embedded into a sea creature’s nostril as they swim along.

2. Paper Straws are Biodegradable

Like plastic straws, paper ones do have the potential to wind up in a landfill where they then get tossed in the ocean. The difference here is that paper straws are biodegradable.

When they do end up in the oceans, plastic straws start to break down almost immediately. They only take a few days to dissolve completely. Compare that to the hundreds of years it takes plastic straws to break down in the ocean.

3. Paper Doesn’t Take as Long to Decompose

When plastic straws sit in a landfill they can take a few hundred years to decompose back into the Earth. Again, from there they usually end up making it into the oceans in the form of microplastic.

On top of dissolving in water in a few days, paper straws can decompose back into the Earth in six weeks or less.

5. They Can Be Affordable

Paper straws aren’t as durable as plastic ones so your customers may ask for more than one when they come to your establishment. This being said, you may have to order them more frequently then you would plastic ones.

Despite this, they can still be affordable. The demand for paper is on the rise so much that it’s hard for manufacturers to keep up.

This is causing the price to jump down. You can buy them in bulk at a pretty fair price.

6. Paper Straws Are Recyclable

Even though paper straws can still make it into landfills they are recyclable. You can check with the company who hauls off your garbage to make sure they will take them.

If your commercial company won’t haul them off, there are other environmentally friendly ways that you can dispose of them.

7. Compare the Features

Are you shying away from paper straws because you’re worried about how they will perform vs plastic? If you check out these comparable features you’ll see that they are just as good.


Most plastic straws come as one length whereas if you order paper ones you’ve got options. The most common lengths are 5.75″, 7.75″, and 10″.

These sizes may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer but this is what you can sort of expect.


Every type of drink calls for different straw diameters. Despite this, most plastic straws only come in one diameter option. It may work for sodas but it’s difficult to use them to drink a milkshake.

Paper straws come in the basic size as well as jumbo, giant, and colossal options. These sizes are perfect for smoothies and thick shakes. Your customers won’t have to give up and use a spoon.


Most plastic straws come in clear or white with red stripes. Paper straws come in a variety of different colors and patterns. It will be easier to match them up with the theme of your restaurant.

Also, as a plus, these straws use a water-based ink that won’t damage the environment. Don’t worry, it won’t wash off into your customer’s drinks either.

Are Paper Straws Better than Plastic?

When you’re making your next order for straws consider choosing paper over plastic. They are better for the environment and better for business as well.

Paper straws will allow you to make a difference in the world and bring in more customers at the same time. Can plastic do that?

Again, it’s best to order your paper straws in bulk. We offer bulk options as well as sample packs. Check it out.