Paper straws can reduce plastic wastes, but can they really answer the customer’s requirements?

Due to the problem of climate change and global warming, many people are thinking about green products. Plastic wastes are one of the major causes of global warming and they are also found on beaches which are detrimental to much rare marine life when they are disposal into the sea. Especially, all the plastic wastes that are difficult to decompose. It takes time to decompose plastic waste about 450 years.

Therefore, many global brands are moving forward to eliminating the use of plastic straws. The advantages and disadvantages of paper straw are summarized in the below table;

Let’s see which hotel groups have started to avoid plastic straws;

Minor hotels such as Anantara Avani Tivoli Elewana have stopped using plastic straws in all hotels and resorts in Asia since January 2018.

Marriott hotels British have eliminated the use of plastic straws at all 60 hotels since February 2018.

Accor hotels British have eliminated the use of plastic straws in all 125 hotels starting June 1, 2018.

Hilton hotels announced that they started to phase out plastic straws and plastic bottles in all hotels around the world by 2018.

Moreover, the network of restaurants and coffee shops also started to change to the paper straws as follows;

UK Starbucks stores began trialing paper straws in 54 London and Manchester locations from April 2018.

KFC Singapore has announced that plastic straws and plastic caps will be discontinued in 84 stores starting since June 2018.

McDonald’s UK started phasing out plastic straws with paper straws in 1,361 stores by 2019.

Sizzler to go Thailand is the sub-brand of Sizzler (you can see a small kiosk at MRT or BTS stations). They manage their business under the motto of Healthy On The Go. This brand is using the eco-friendly packing such as paper straws, paper bag and paper food packaging since 2020.

Starbucks Thailand started to use the paper straws since January 2020 feedback from the customers that the quality of paper straws sill cannot pass their standard. Some of the customer said “The taste of coffee is strange. The recipe is the same, the barista is the same person, the brewing is the same as usual, but the first time that I tasted it, it’s the same. Umm, but there was something unknown that changed the taste. It is so yacked! It is like a paper flavor. That is not the same as I am used to drink”.  

Moreover, he had a comment that “It might be my weakness when I drink a glass of coffee, I will not drink it all at once, but I will take some time for a glass. Then the straw is dissolved into water. It becomes soften and I cannot suck it up”. Now Starbucks cannot bear the feedback from the customers, they changed to biodegradable straw instead because the paper’s smell can ruin the taste of beverages, and it is not as sturdy as plastic.  

Although paper straws can reduce plastic wastes, their quality needs to be improved in order to solve the pain points from the customers.