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02-11-2016

Straws Get Standardized

Billions of drinking straws are produced each year; yet despite their worldwide use, plastic (polypropylene) straws had never been the subject of standards and specifications. A recently published International Standard, ISO 18188:2016, "Specification of polypropylene drinking straws", will now provide general requirements for dimensions and performance properties of plastic straws. This will help manufacturers to produce consistent, quality products.

Whether you are drinking a fruit juice in a carton, a cocktail in a glass or a milkshake in a tumbler, straws have different shapes to suit the glass and drink they go into. ISO 18188 covers the whole range: straight, flexible, extendable, spoon-shaped intended for slushes, or with a sharp tip intended for insertion through film-sealed containers, all these shapes find proper specifications. The standard specifies that the plastic must conform to the food contact requirements of the market. Plastic straws have to show their resistance to hot and cold temperatures and bend without rupture.

ISO 18188 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 61, Plastics, Subcommittee SC 11, Products, whose secretariat is held by JISC, the ISO member for Japan.

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