Drinking straws are one of those tiny, everyday objects whose origins we rarely think about. Usually, we grab them and go without giving a second thought to how they came to be. But plastic straws don’t just exist, they’re made—and it turns out the process is simultaneously surprisingly complex and strangely satisfying.
The short video above goes behind the scenes at a factory where striped drinking straws are produced. A massive multi-purpose machine melts, shapes, cuts, and sorts the straws with speedy efficiency. While watching the colorful straws take shape and accumulate in a heap at the end of the automated assembly line is fascinating, one of the most impressive things about the whole process is how complicated the machinery, with its gears, blades, flashing buttons, and extruders, seems to be. So next time you grab a cup of soda, think about how much complex technology it took to make the humble straw delivering your icy beverage.
Banner Image Credit: Forbes Ma, YouTube