The History of Flexible Drinking Straws

Drinking Straws

There were a lot of splendid achievements and dazzling innovations in the 20th century and flexible drinking straws are one of them. Although you may get accustomed to see and use them, the history of them is still refreshing and fascinating. If you are interested, please keep reading!

Just like “you can’t make bricks without straw”, it is difficult for you to drink a beverage without a flexible straw especially there is a pudding or bubble. Although the flexible drinking straws look so simple and cheap, the invention of them actually makes a big difference at that time. Now let’s figure out the development of flexible drinking straws together. Hope you can learn some knowledge about them.

The Beginning

In the 19th century, Americans preferred to sate their appetite for home-brewed iced wine in summer. In order to prevent the hot temperature in their mouths from ruining the freezing taste of the wine, they did not drink it directly with their mouths. Instead, they drank it with hollow stalks from crops. One day in 1880, a man was drinking iced peppermint liquor to enjoy the cool and refreshing feeling in the hot dry summer. Suddenly, the rye straw used as the drinking straw cracked and ruined the pleasing moment. This man, like a cigarette holder manufacturer, decided to invent a better alternative with high quality. Perhaps it was the rich work experience that gave him some brilliant ideas. He just simply wrapped a paper around a pencil, and then glued the edges of the paper together. Later, he employed paraffin-coated paper to create drinking straws. That’s how the first official drinking straw comes. People loved it because this invention featured good durability and availability.


As paper straw prevailed across more municipalities, some inventors strived to improve it to fulfill more needs. It was not until the 1930s that paper flexible drinking straws emerged in the world. The inventor, Joseph Friedman, created the flexible straw only by using a screw and a string. It should be noted that the bendable paper straws made drinking more convenient and safer. Guess where the first-place paper flexible drinking straws were put to use was? The answer may surprise you, that is, the hospital! On the strength of the paper flexible drinking straws, disabled people in the hospital could drink water or soup easily and conveniently. Before long, this invention gained wide popularity across the world.


Even though, people still wondered that was there any better materials that could be used to create flexible drinking straws. In 1870, John Wesley Hyatt invented the first plastic products in the world by using a material called celluloid. This gave fresh impetus to the development of flexible drinking straws at that time. Quickly, plastic drinking straws were manufactured. In the following decades, plastic flexible drinking straws became popular throughout the United States and gradually took the place of paper straws.

Current Situation

Little by little, people realized the significant pollution to the marine or the soil is mainly brought by plastic products. Hence, they made up their minds and refused to use plastic drinking straws. Under the circumstances, Bubird comes up with a top invention. This reusable silicone straw is designed with food-grade silicone material and passes the LFGB and FDA tests. Besides, it is suitable for hot and cold beverages without causing any safety issues. People prefer to purchase this product to reduce the serious environmental problem caused by plastic products. Since these flexible drinking straws have beautiful appearances with many colors to choose, some people even consider buying it as a gift to their friends.

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