What’s the best choice for compostable straws: paper straws or 100% plant-based PLA straws?

compostable straws paper straws vs pla straws

The 5,000-year-old tradition that began as gold tubes to consume beer, today is an obvious food services accessory. Cold beverages and fancy cocktails served without straws are almost unimaginable.  

But it’s estimated 500 million plastic straws are used every single day in the US, causing an estimated 8.3 billion plastic straws to pollute the world’s beaches each year.  

The ban on plastic straws has already gained momentum as a global trend across countries and service businesses, with consumers pushing for change. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Burger King, and many others have realized the pressing urgency for improving global waste management systems. But when it comes to compostable straws, what’s your best option: paper or PLA? 

The soggy side of paper straws

Paper straws have been a great addition to a healthier planet vision as they do not need 200 years to decompose like plastic straws. While biodegradable and compostable, they come with limitations. 

paper straws are fun and colorful but are not the best choice for compostable straws

The limitations of paper straws

  • Tend to lose shape and get soggy
  • Can leave a bad taste in your mouth, often from the glue used to put them together
  • Require more energy and resources to manufacture than plastic straws
  • May not be recyclable
  • Some paper straws have wax and film coating, affecting their decomposing time.
  • May contain chroropropanols that can be carcinogenic and mutagenic or reprotoxic chemicals
  • May contain PFAs


Plant-based PLA straws are cheaper than paper, better than plastic.

Made from renewable sources of corn starch, compostable PLA straws are a great sustainable alternative to plastic straws. Unlike paper straws, PLA straws do not get soggy when wet. PLA straws look, feel and function the same as plastic straws but are commercially compostable.  

Compared to other PLA straws, Evanesce straws are made from high-quality polymer blends, with fast crystallization and are manufactured in the USA.  

Top features of Evanesce’s PLA straws include:

  • Certified BPI compostable
  • Free from BPA, phthalates and other plasticizers
  • Superior functional strength
  • Suitable for cold and hot drinks (up to 185°F/ 85°C)
  • Multiple options including straight, flexible, cocktails and cut-tip and available in various colors and sizes
  • Customizable printing available on packaging



Get superior compostable straws that are affordable.

If you’re looking for compostable straw options, there is more than just paper. When 80% of consumers say that sustainability is an important factor in their purchasing decisions – meet this growing demand with a solution that’s better than plastic and cheaper than paper. Our PLA straws that use best-in-class resin, are superior in quality, are affordable and are made in the USA. 

Contact our sales team to get started. Request a sample to see the quality for yourself. 

About Brett Featherston

Brett Featherston, Global VP of Sales, Evanesce

Brett Featherston is the Global VP of Sales at Evanesce with 20 years of experience leading marketing and sales team, with a customer-centric and results-oriented approach. Brett is passionate about making a significant impact on the environment while doing what he does best – meeting customer needs and delivering high-quality service. Connect with Brett on LinkedIn.