Paper Drinking Straws Coated with Cellulose Acetate and Polyhydroxyalkanoates via an Entropy-Driven Approach and Natural Colorants as Alternatives for Plastic Drinking Straws


  • Jinlong Zhang School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
  • Lokendra Pal Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 8005, Raleigh, NC, 27695 USA


Paper Straws, Polyhydroxyalkanoate, Cellulose acetate, Cellulose liquid crystal, Biodegradable pigments


As a way to reduce microplastics or nano-plastics in the ocean, it is of interest to develop biodegradable paper-based drinking straws to replace  non-degradable plastic drinking straws. Primary questions to be addressed include how to design suitable coatings for paper drinking straws. Such coatings not only need to resist water. In addition, consumers have high expectations for the strength of a drinking straw. It is proposed here to replace non-biodegradable polypropylene, which is presently the main component of straws, with biodegradable and hydrophobic coating components via an entropy-driven approach. It is further proposed to develop colored paper-based drinking straws with cellulose nematic liquid crystal photonic pigments as a way to make the product stand out visibly, while at the same time mediating the usage of toxic chemical pigments.







Editorial Piece