Top 7 things you need to know about paper straws

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

All change: McDonald’s has come under fire recently as its paper straws cannot be recycled (image credit: ddukang/gettyimages)
All change: McDonald’s has come under fire recently as its paper straws cannot be recycled (image credit: ddukang/gettyimages)
The Morning Advertiser has looked into the top things pub operators need to know about paper straws.

This follows the news reported by The Sun ​that McDonald’s “eco-friendly” paper straws can’t be recycled.

The national newspaper claimed an internal memo admitted the paper straws had to be thrown away and burned. McDonald’s switched from plastic straws last year in a bid to become more eco-friendly.

According to, historically straws have been made from paper but more recently, polypropylene plastic is more common.

Plastic ditched

In September 2017, JD Wetherspoon swapped from plastic straws to biodegradable paper ones instead.

Other pub groups that have ditched plastic are Laine Pub Co, Liberation Group, Oakman Inns, Ei Group, Be At One and Brakspear. Greene King introduced compostable straws across its estate in August 2018.

In May this year, former environment secretary Michael Gove confirmed a ban on single-use plastic coming into force in April 2020 will still allow pubs and bars to provide plastic straws to disabled customers on request.

Here are seven things to know about paper straws:

1. Cost

They are cheap to make, are food safe and can be easily printed with food-safe inks.

2. Different drinks

Not the best choice to serve with a hot drink, making paper straws limited to being used for cold drinks.

3. Soft issue

Paper straws can go mushy due to absorbing liquid over time, which can then leave fibres in drinks.

4. Certification

Ensure they are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved so they are environmentally friendly.

5. Design time

Paper straws can be adapted to have different colours, logos and designs on to represent your pub (make sure ink used is food safe).

6. Other options

There are varieties of paper straws that are compostable.

7. Costly

According to the British Beer & Pub Association, paper straws are more expensive than plastic straws, however, offering straws on request will help overcome the increase in price.

Related topics: Health & safety

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