A drinking straw is a tube for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth of the drinker and is typically a thin tube of plastic (such as polypropylene and polystyrene) or other material. a thin paper or plastic tube used to suck liquids into the mouth. synonyms: straw. type of: tube, tubing. conduit consisting of a long hollow object (usually cylindrical) used to hold and conduct objects or liquids or gases. Most drinking straws are made out of polypropylene, a commonly used polymer. A polymer is a very long chain of molecules all bonded together. Most plastics that you use are polymers. Polypropylene is made using propylene gas, a fuel made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. A straw, explains Geiger, lets you sip just a little at a time, and avoid the effects of a big mouthful of milkshake: If you were drinking, say, a milkshake without a straw, then you get a big clump all at once. There’s not a lot of room in your mouth, and so not much air circulation. But remember, the straw reduces the amount of liquid you take in, which means it heats up faster in your mouth and thus produces more complex aromas, which leads to enhanced flavors, since, as Science World notes, our sense of smell contributes mightily to our sense of taste. Historically, straws have been made from paper but today polypropylene plastic is the material of choice. Polypropylene is a resin made by polymerizing, or stringing together, molecules of a propylene gas. When a very large number of these molecules are chemically hooked together they form this solid plastic material. Most are made from stainless steel, which is 100% recyclable, and can be recycled at any point in its life. Other metal straws contain nickel, which also has a high recycling rate: 68% of all nickel available in consumer products is recycled, and another 15% enters the carbon steel loop You’re not imagining things—drinks really do taste better with a straw. It has to do with taste and temperature.