High quality adhesives enable safe, liquid-resistant and sustainable paper straws
Consumers need and deserve safe and high-quality paper drinking straws. But how does this manufacturing process translate into performance criteria for the adhesive that keeps the straw together?

  1. The adhesive must be food safe and pose no harm to human health.
  2. The adhesive bond must remain intact during use to ensure the paper drinking straw maintains full integrity when wet.
  3. And finally, the adhesive needs to be easy to use and perform well on the wide variety of paper drinking straw making machines and paper types.

H.B. Fuller, a signatory and founding member of the 360° Foodservice Charter of Trust for Paper Drinking Straws, continuously strive to bring innovative adhesives that help produce sustainable, high-quality paper drinking straws that deliver a safe and enjoyable consumer experience.

Within Europe, the suitability of an adhesive for use in food contact situations is typically assessed using the criteria established by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) Food-Contact Recommendation BfRXXXVI (Paper and Board for Food Contact Materials). Although the BfR recommendations are not legal norms, they are widely respected and used throughout the European Union.

H.B. Fuller long-established European Regulatory team takes part in various EU regulatory focussed working parties. At the same time, the Quality team ensures that their adhesives are respectful of and compliant with all the relevant EU, BfR and national food contact material requirements as detailed for paper, notably by performing external testing for overall* and MOH** migration. This attention to detail guarantees that the adhesives are compliant with the Charter of Trust and, therefore, food-safe for their intended purpose.

High quality paper straws need to remain intact and strong during use with a wide variety of beverages, i.e., it should not unravel or collapse. For this to be achieved, the adhesive application and bond strength must be subjected to quality control during production to assess that liquid resistance is achieved while the paper drinking straw is being used.

H.B. Fuller in collaboration with key partners in 360º Foodservice have devised a robust test procedure. It assesses the liquid resistance of the paper and adhesive combination by placing the straw into the relevant liquid in a specific direction. This ensures the test is performed using the weaker end of the straw where the outer layer is uncovered. While it is immersed in the liquid, it is occasionally stirred, all the while being visually assessed for signs of flagging. Once signs of flagging are observed, the immersion duration is recorded.

Learn more about paper drinking straw liquid resistance testing by watching this H.B. Fuller video on liquid resistance testing.

As a founding member of 360º Foodservice Charter of Trust for paper drinking straws, H.B. Fuller fully understands the importance of collaboration along the entire supply chain. They work in close partnership with the major paper and equipment manufacturers to ensure consumers enjoy a high-quality, food safe and sustainable paper straw.

*Overall migration in 3% acetic acid and 50% Ethanol

**Mineral oil hydrocarbons - each of the test fractions of MOSH + MOAH in 50% Ethanol following JRC guideline Consult with your H.B. Fuller account manager.

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