Buyers Seek Out Alternatives for Plastic Drinking Straws


This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Paper Mart in Orange, California, a national discount packaging leader.

Hello again. This week we’re going to take a look at sourcing for Drinking Straws by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this commodity is up 41 percent over its historical average.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that three of the top industries driving this trend are – no surprise – the Food & Beverage industry, as well as Wholesale Trade Office Supplies, and the Healthcare & Medical industry.

A key factor driving this trend is likely to be the current push toward using paper straws versus plastic. For example, in New York City, the city council recently introduced a bill that could ban plastic straws throughout the city. Similar restrictions are being considered in California, where a number of cities have already banned plastic straws.

McDonald’s has begun experimenting with using paper straws in its U.K. locations, and while McDonald’s shareholders recently voted down a proposal to eliminate the company’s iconic red and yellow striped plastic straws, the company says that it is “looking into sustainable alternatives for plastic straws globally.” The upward trend in sourcing activity for straws is likely to be driven by buyers looking for suppliers with the capability and capacity to produce and deliver paper straws en masse.

In a related category, sourcing activity for Paper Bags is up 152 percent month-over-month on the platform. This activity comes as municipalities from New Jersey to Wyoming are introducing legislation banning plastic bags.

Moving on from these categories, here’s a look at the top ten industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks:

  1. CNC Machining
  2. Injection Molded Plastics
  3. Metal Fabrication
  4. Steel
  5. Metal Stampings
  6. Corrugated Boxes
  7. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services
  8. Electronic Contract Manufacturing
  9. Plastic Bottles
  10. Machining 

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Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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