Because of the implementation of the plastic ban policy, there is an increasing demand for paper straws around the world. Many popular restaurant industry enterprises have begun to use the paper straws like Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc.

Obviously, the paper straw industry is a potential business that you can make good money, but the first thing you should know is that how are paper straws made before you decide to step into the business.   

However, I notice that there are many guides teaching you how to DIY a paper straw on Google. But there is little knowledge about how paper straws are made in the factory.

So after a detailed discussion with one of our colleagues, an experienced sourcing agent in the paper straw industry, I write the post to help you learn knowledge about the manufacturing process of paper straw and the necessary certificates when you import from China and sell them in your local market.

I bet you will benefit a lot from today’s post.

Without further ado, let’s learn together.

1. What are paper straws made of?

As paper straws are a kind of product in direct contact with food, and the quality of it is closely related to people’s health. Hence, the market will have strict requirements for the product quality, the first thing is to choose a kind of healthy material.

Food-grade kraft paper is the most suitable raw material for making paper straws because of its unique characteristics like security, moisture-proof, oil proof, etc.

food-grade kraft paper

2. How are paper straws made? (5 steps)

The manufacturing process of paper straw can be divided into 5 steps as follows,

Step 1: raw material paper cutting

As I mentioned above, food-grade kraft paper is the most suitable raw material paper. The kraft paper will be cut according to the suitable specification first.

raw material paper cut

Typically, the specification for the inner layer, middle layer and outer layer are respectively 120gsm, 120gsm, 60gsm. And if you want to customize the pattern of the paper straw, you can finish it at the step.

In addition, only some large-scale factories will be equipped with such cutting machines because of the high investment in the equipment. So if you notice that the supplier has such equipment, the factory is worth believing to a large extent. 

Step 2: paper straw forming

Although nowadays, more and more paper straws consist of four layers to ensure better hardness, no matter for 3-layer or 4-layer paper straws, the manufacturing process is the same. Take 3-layer paper straw for an example, it respectively includes the inner layer, middle layer and outer layer.  For the outer layer, it is mainly for printing all kinds of patterns, and you can custom the pattern you like. 

Through gluing and rolling 3 layers of paper, a paper straw is manufactured. 

3 paper straw forming

Step 3: drying process

Moisture control is very strict, if the moisture is too high, the products are easy to go mouldy. So after making the paper straw, we need to dry them to control the moisture content within the limit of about 6%.

There are 2 common ways to finish the process,

The first kind, move the paper straw into the special drying room. Then baking for 6 to 8 hours at about 60℃.

drying oven

The second kind, dry the products through the integrated microwave paper product drying equipment.

2-microwave dryer

Microwave drying does not need preheating and heat transfer, and it can heat the cardboard from the inside to the outside at the same time uniformly. So we won’t be bothered by the coking phenomenon. In addition, under the above circumstance, the paper straw will be dried at about 300 ℃ for several minutes, so the straws can be packed directly after drying without needing an extra sterilization process.

Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Although the first drying way is more time-consuming than microwave drying, the paper straw won’t deform easily. So it is beneficial for packing. But for those paper straws through microwave drying, paper straws are easier to deform due to high temperature.

Step 4: disinfection process

After drying, we should operate the disinfection process. If customers need individual wrapping, it should be completed before the process. Instead, it will operate the disinfection process directly.

Step 5: package customizing

Through quality inspection, the products will be packed. There is a variety of packaging material, like opp bags, paper boxes, etc. If you want to customize the package, you can discuss it with your supplier. Many medium and large-scale factories can support package customization.

pack

Perhaps you will have such a question, whether the innermost and outermost layers of the straw need to be coated like PE film, PLA film to enhance water resistance. In fact, if the factory adopts a good quality adhesive and has good technology, the paper straws will also have a good performance with no need to coat these films.

And it is not environmental-friendly to use PE films. In addition, PLA is environmental-friendly, but it is not an ideal material because of its high cost and bad performance for high temperature.

3. What certificates you need for importing and selling the paper straw?

For products in contact with food, there are some different requirements for importing and selling them in the local market.

Here are needed certificates for importing and selling paper straws in some common countries: Canada(CFIA); Germany(LFGB); Europe(EU); the USA( FDA).

So before you decide to import it from China, you should learn which certificate you need during the customs clearance and selling process in your local market. You can consult your customs broker about the needed certificates during customs clearance.

About which certificates you need when you sell in your local market, actually, it is related to your target selling place. Supposing that you sell it in a large supermarket in Germany, the requirements for the product will be higher. Usually, the paper straw should have LFGB. But if you just sell in some street stores in Germany, perhaps it just needs an EU test.

When you search for suppliers, you should pay attention to the certificates. For example, when you search on Alibaba, you can look through the product listing, and some sellers will state if the product has passed the relative tests like the following picture shows,

Alibaba product listing about test

To the end

I hope you can benefit a lot from my today’s post. If you think the post is helpful, welcome to share with others. In addition, if any questions about the production process of paper straw, or you need to buy paper straws from china. Let me know by leaving a comment or email us. We are always here to answer you.