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The global paper straw market size was valued at USD 1.45 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 1.51 million in 2023 to USD 2.23 million by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.75% during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
Paper drinking straws are tube-shaped structures that allow convenient beverage consumption. These straws, produced in various shapes and printed/non-printed styles, are now in high demand for foodservice and household use due to recent governmental bans on single-use plastics. For example, India banned plastic straws along with other identified single-use plastic products in June 2022 to reduce plastic waste.
However, the manufacturing process of paper straws is different from the manufacturing process of plastic straws. By material type, which includes types of papers and water-based adhesives and types of machinery such as slot machines and core winding machines used in the process, significantly impacts the production rate. Thus, the material used for manufacturing paper straws is virgin paper or recycled paper. The market has observed growth in the number of new market entrants, paper product developments, and launches by market players in the plastic packing industry. For instance, in April 2022, UFlex Limited, a material packing and polymer science company based in India, announced the launch of its new U-shaped paper straw production line, which produces around 2.4 billion straws annually.
Market Observed a Decline in Product Demand during COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the global economy and multiple industries due to restrictions imposed in the second quarter of 2020, when a peak in the virus spread was observed. These government restrictions and regulations, such as lockdowns and closing of borders, put several industries on halt. In addition, as the borders were closed and travel restrictions were active, the supply chain was disrupted. Thus, the closure of manufacturing units, supply chain disruption, and economic slowdown severely impacted this industry. In addition, the implementation of social restrictions resulted in the restriction on the mobility of people. Paper straw application is mostly found in households and food service. As the hotel, restaurant, and catering businesses were shut down during the start of the pandemic and the mobility of people was restricted, the market saw a decline in sales.
As the restriction started to ease in late 2020, the restaurants had to observe a transition and growth in takeaway services. The easing of restrictions assisted significantly in the recovery with the rise in demand for these straws due to rapid growth in the takeaway services of food and drinks. Although this further imposed pressure on manufacturing units, and as the travel restrictions were still in place in most countries, the supply chain disruption was a major factor restraining the recovery during the first half of 2021.
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Shift Toward Adoption of Bio-based Economy Among Industry Players to Fuel Market Growth
The bio-economy is designed to use all types of sustainable biomass sources such as residual biomass, organic waste, and others. Technological advancements in biorefinery have improved the use of biological resources. In addition, the valorization of discarded parts of plants and animals has observed an upgrade.
Technological advancements will also contribute to the launch of better-quality raw materials required to manufacture paper straws. For instance, in April 2019, Ahlstrom-Munksjö launched a new fiber-based bio solution called CelluStrawTM, consisting of specialty-grade paper for the inner and outer plies of paper straws. Awareness regarding climate change and the impact of single-use plastic on the environment resulted in the growing demand for bio-based products. Thus, major companies which have operations in plastic and polymers are shifting toward bio-based products to fulfill the growing demand. For instance, in February 2019, SIG, one of the leading packaging solution providers, announced the launch of paper straws as an alternative to plastic straws to its customers.
Ban on Single-use Plastic Products to Drive the Paper Straw Market Growth
The key use of conventional plastic straws is on juice carton packs. Although if not properly disposed of, they contribute to the growing plastic waste problem. Single-use plastic waste harms terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. According to SIG Combibloc Group AG (SIG), 8 million metric tons of waste are dumped in oceans annually. Addressing the pollution caused by single-use plastic products has been a major challenge for most countries. The growing consumer awareness has brought governments to introduce new policies and regulations to ban single-use plastic products, fueling global market growth. For instance, in July 2021, the European Union banned certain single-use plastic products such as plates, balloon sticks, cutlery, straws, and others. In addition, in November 2022, seven of eight Australian states banned single-use plastic products, including plastic straws.
The demand for straws is massive, with a rising number of applications in the food service sector. Therefore, multiple alternatives to plastic straws are being introduced such as edible straws, metal straws, glass straws, and paper straws. Producers face the challenge of choosing the right alternative that balances sustainability issues, cost, functionality, and convenience. These straws have been observed as a viable alternative since they are renewable, can be produced from recycled paper, decomposes quickly, and are safer for wildlife. Thus, the ban on single-use plastic products is driving the growth of the market.
Negative Impact Due to the Quality and Manufacturing Process to Hinder Market Growth
In terms of disposability, paper straws are more environment-friendly than plastic straws. However, the manufacturing process of paper straws negatively impacted the environment due to the emission of certain polluted substances. In addition, the manufacturing process requires a lot of energy due to a longer manufacturing process, which includes lumber transportation, kraft paper production, paper cutting, and gluing, resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, according to Strawlific, a biodegradable straw company, 96 kilojoules of energy emitting 4.1 grams of carbon pollutants is required to manufacture a single paper straw. As the demand increases, the production rate and meeting the growing demand shall result in a higher rate of deforestation. Thus, the number of trees would be less to absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, increasing global warming.
Paper straws are also single-use waste products as they turn soggy if used for about 30 minutes, and the stability tends to change based on the drink consumed. This results in a higher consumption rate as users might need more than one straw for a single drink, leading to a rise in production rate, which shall negatively impact the environment. In addition, the aftertaste of paper in the drink has been a concern for many users. For instance, in April 2019, around 90,000 people signed a petition to stop paper straws in the U.K. as they get soggy quickly.
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Rising Demand for Higher Quality Paper Straws to Fuel the Demand for Virgin Paper
The material segment is divided into virgin paper and recycled paper. The virgin paper segment has a higher share in the market owing to its quality and durability. As paper straws come in direct contact with food, the quality of these straws is closely monitored as it can affect a person's health. Hence, the market has a strict requirement for product quality and needs healthy and food-grade materials used in manufacturing. For instance, in March 2021, 360° Foodservice, a non-profit collaborative platform for sustainable food and drinks service in Europe, launched a new Charter of Trust, a catalog of all rules & regulations for material used in manufacturing straws.
Paper made from virgin fibers is called virgin paper. In recent times, technological advancement has made the production process of virgin fiber more sustainable. For instance, in October 2022, Smurfit Kappa, a well-known paper mill in the U.K., announced its new invention in the drying process, which reduced CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The new drying process of Smurfit Kappa has reduced 6% of steam energy consumption and 5% CO2 emission. Furthermore, paper mills using virgin fiber do not rely on fossil fuels to generate energy; they store energy by burning waste. Virgin paper has a higher absorbency rate, better retention of ink color, and is more durable. The recycled paper does not sustain for long as the overused paper results in inconsistency, low quality, and poor performance.
Rising Preference for Non-printed Paper Straws to Fuel the Market Growth
By product, the market is divided into printed and non-printed. Printed paper straws are biodegradable and similar to non-printed ones. The paper, ink, and other raw materials used in production are food-grade; even if consumed, they will cause no harm to the human body and can be excreted easily. However, the ink used for printing is human grade but can affect the taste of beverages and has a negative impact on the market. Thus, more food service outlets prefer non-printed paper straws, making them a leading segment.
Furthermore, various prints, patterns, and color options are available, making customization more convenient. The printed straws can be customized, allowing companies to print their logo, organization name, and others. Thus, this gives food joints and restaurants an edge to highlight their name or logo and can be used for marketing. For instance, in September 2022, Karrie Laughton, owner of Lux Lounge, a popular lounge in New York State, launched its manufacturing unit of printed straws, the Roc Paper Straws. The unit is now distributing standard and custom-branded paper straws. Thus, the rapid growth in technological advancement and new products launched will contribute to a higher growth rate for printed straws in the forecast period.
Rise in Demand for Paper Straws Due to Growth in the Foodservice Industry
By application, the market is bifurcated into foodservice and household. Straws are one of the major products used in the food service industry. The food & beverage industry has recently observed rapid growth due to various factors such as technological advancement, urbanization, and others. The rapid growth in technological advancements in food delivery with the introduction of online food-delivery websites and applications has driven the growing demand for food service. For instance, in October 2022, the U.S. Food Holding Corp. announced the launch of its most advanced e-commerce application MOXē (Making Operator Xperiences Easy). MOXē is the only food service application with a one-stop solution for food services that can be used on mobile, desktop, and tablets.
Rapid urbanization and migration also significantly contribute to the growing demand for away-from-home food. Various food outlets have observed a speedy expansion post-pandemic. For instance, Zomato announced a rapid growth of 13.2 times in orders in 2020 as compared to 2018. Furthermore, Zomato mentioned approximately 10.7 million customers ordered food every month in 2020. This growing food service industry will result in market traction during the forecast period for cutlery and paper straw. Due to the ban on plastic products and rising awareness for sustainability, the demand has shifted toward paper straws. For instance, in April 2022, Japan banned single-use plastic products. To follow the regulations in October 2022, McDonald's announced it would adopt paper straws and wooden cutlery in all locations.
North America Paper Straw Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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Geographically, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe hold a major share of the market and are expected to grow in the forecast period. Owing to the stringent regulations on single-use plastic products and the higher use of drinking straws in the food service industry has increased exponentially in this region. For instance, according to SIG Combibloc Group AG (SIG), 500 million plastic straws are used by the U.S. alone. In addition, as per the British government, 8.5 billion plastic straws are used in Great Britain.
Furthermore, Germany, France, and Italy are among the biggest drinking straw-consuming countries in Europe. The ban in Australia and India for single-use plastic products, including straws, shall further fuel the growth of the market in Asia Pacific. South America and the Middle East & Africa will further fuel the market growth, with major food outlets shifting their preference toward paper straws globally.
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The major players focus on innovations, product development, and advanced technological adoption. Manufacturers and developers are launching different products to cater to the growing demand. For instance, in July 2022, Lamipak launched its new U-shaped paper straw. Furthermore, new technological innovations, such as plant-based and manufacturing with recycled paper, have increased competition. For instance, in September 2021, SunRype Products, a division of A. Lassonde Inc., a Canadian fruit-based beverage company, announced its new bendable paper straw on all its beverage packs made from recycled paper. The manufacturers further focus on acquisitions to expand their product portfolio and manufacturing facilities. For instance, in October 2018, Duni Group acquired 75% of BioPak Pty Ltd.
An Infographic Representation of Paper Straw Market
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The research report analyzes the market in-depth and highlights crucial aspects such as prominent companies, competitive landscape, material, product, and applications. Besides this, the report provides insights into the paper straw market trends and highlights significant industry developments. In addition, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market growth.
CAGR of 5.7% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
North America (By Product, Material, Application, and Country)
Europe (By Application, Product, Material, and Country)
Asia Pacific (By Application, Product, Material, and Country)
South America (By Application, Product, Material, and Country)
Middle East and Africa (By Application, Product, Material, and Country)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1.45 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach USD 2.23 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the global market value stood at USD 1.45 billion.
Ascending at a CAGR of 5.75%, the global market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2023-2030).
By application, the foodservice segment is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period (2023-2030).
Rising demand for sustainable alternatives to plastic straws will be surging the demand for paper straw in the forecast period (2023-2030).
Fueling Technology (China), Footprint (U.S.), Charta Global (U.S.), and Canada Brown Eco (Canada) are the leading companies worldwide.
North America dominated the global market in 2021.
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