Moorim develops bio-degradable ‘paper straws’
[Moorim’s U-shaped paper straw] As environment-friendly activities have now become an essential element of corporate activities, and consumers, too, look for better value in environment-friendly products, companies in the food and beverage industry or logistics industry are some of the first to go plastic-free. In line with this trend, it was not rare to hear of a franchise coffee store offering environment-friendly paper straws in lieu of plastic straws, but now the straws that come attached to prepackaged beverages sold through large supermarkets and convenience stores are also being replaced with paper straws to great acclaim. Prepackaged beverages, such as dairy products and fruit juices often come with a U-shaped straw for the consumer’s convenience. But since the frequent bending required for U-shaped straws made them more prone to damage, replacing them with paper straws had been challenging. But U-shaped paper straws that have addressed this issue have become available to wide acclaim from the Korean beverage industry. Seoil, a global market leader of straws, has created such products using Moorim’s paper ‘Neoforêt STRAW’ which was developed for paper straws. A representative of Seoil commented, “Since this is a product that directly touches consumers’ mouths, meeting the standards of food safety and hygiene are some of the basic boxes we have ticked off. The product has passed the tests of both U.S. FDA and Europe’s BfR, and are produced under strict quality control. The environment-friendly paper straws are gaining popularity, and we have been receiving a stream of inquiries.” [The environment-friendly paper straw of Moorim] Seoil had been supplying its paper straws made of imported paper to Maeil Dairy, Jeong Foods, Dongwon F&B, Hanmi Healthcare, Seoul Milk, Yonsei Milk, Samyook Food and Happy Fruit. But as Moorim recently launched ‘Neoforêt STRAW’ with improved durability making it fit for producing pleated type straws and minimal softening while the straws are in use, providing a strength that is similar to conventional plastic straws, Seoil has decided to switch over to using Neoforêt STRAW in lieu of the imported paper to produce straws with gradual increase of supply to domestic and international clients scheduled over time. The U-shaped paper straws to be attached to prepackaged beverages are often used for health supplement beverages or children’s dairy products. As such, meeting the requirements for food safety is also of high importance. ‘Neoforêt STRAW’ which is made of natural pulp has received approval from the U.S. FDA and Europe’s BfR. It has also won certification for both recycling and bio-degradability, meeting the standards for environment-friendliness. Meanwhile, Moorim, a company specializing in environment-friendly paper manufacturing, has been working on replacing the plastic used for packaging the paper straws in order to attach them to the boxed beverage, with paper as well. It has finally developed such a paper and is currently going through a PTS certification process (i.e. certification for recyclability). Once it is commercialized in earnest, we can expect to see 100% eco-packaging used on boxed beverages where all plastic is replaced by paper.