Industry News

China to ban plastic straws at restaurants by end of year

At the end of 2020, non-degradable single-use plastic straws are banned in the catering industry across China.

In 2021, the straw you bite may not be elastic, or it may look like plastic but it is not. The former is a paper straw with a cost price of 0.03 yuan per tube, and the latter is a PLA straw with a cost of 0.04 yuan per tube. This switch replaces 46 billion plastic straws worth 0.01 yuan each.

At the end of August 2020, the Ministry of Commerce of China once again clarified the timing of the "ban order": According to the documents issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in January this year. At the end of 2020, the catering industry nationwide banned the use of non-degradable single-use plastic straws.

Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics of China show that the cumulative output of plastic products nationwide in 2019 was 81.84 million tons. According to CCTV News, nearly 30,000 tons of plastic straws, or about 46 billion, were used per capita.

Although the proportion is only 0.0036%, the private environmental protection agency gets rid of plastic constraints. The project commissioner believes: "Straws are an easier entry point. Unlike food packaging that relies more on plastic, it is difficult to find substitutes in a short time. Non-degradable single-use plastic straws can be replaced."

Many people in the industry claim that paper straws and PLA (Polylactic acid) straws will be mainstream alternatives to plastic straws. PLA is processed from starch raw materials extracted from renewable plant resources (such as corn). It is a new type of biodegradable material. After use, it is decomposed into carbon dioxide and water under composting conditions.

According to incomplete statistics, more than 20 provinces across the country have issued their own "plastic restriction order" implementation plans, but no detailed penalties have been mentioned. The “Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes” that came into effect on September 1 stipulates that those who use illegally or fail to report the use of disposable plastic products will face a fine of 10,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan, and the county level The above-mentioned local people's government commerce, postal and other competent departments shall order corrections.

Less than four months after the "ban order" came into effect, many companies in the supply chain of the straw industry told the reporter of China Business Daily that regarding the implementation of the policy and the acceptance of the market, which materials consumers prefer as plastics. They are all on the sidelines and actively preparing for alternatives.

In the catering field, the beverage industry closely related to straws, especially the leading companies in the tea industry, have taken the lead in responding and put paper drinking straws on shelves. However, whether it is the disposable paper straws that consumers generally report that the experience is poor, or the PLA straws that are currently costly due to supply shortages, there is still much room for improvement.

paper drinking straw

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