Pully, Switzerland-based Tetra Pak said it aims to launch a paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year.

The release is part of a broader program aimed at addressing the issue of plastic straw waste. Straws on portion packs are an integral part of the packaging system, but they are also a part of the plastic waste problem if not disposed of properly, Tetra Pak said.

The company said it’s been working to encourage consumers to push straws “back in the pack” once empty, so they can be collected along with the rest of the package. Now it is working to develop a paper straw that has the strength and safety properties needed to be used on portion-size carton packages.

“Our cartons are already, on average, about 75% paperboard, so paper straws are something we know makes sense. By the new year, we are confident we will have a solution,” said Charles Brand, executive vice president of product management and commercial operations for Tetra Pak.