Marvin Stone patented the modern drinking straw in 1888. He wound strips of paper around a pencil, then glued them together to make the first paper straw. Within 2 years the straw became his main source of income.
Joseph Friedman introduced the addition of the ‘flex’, which meant the rigid paper straw could be bent over a glass making it easier for young children to get to grips with drinking and was useful for the bedridden.
Ironically, a number of technical and material innovations initially lead to the demise of the paper straw until relatively recently, with plastic straws being outlawed by a range of organisations given their contribution to un-recycled plastic use in oceans.
The US’s only paper straw producer Aardvark was formed in 2005. It has doubled production year-on-year for 10 years, with 2017 alone seeing a growth of 5,000 %. Newer is not always better. Better is simply better.