The "paper" trend of switching pastry bags and beverage containers from plastic to paper products began to expand in Japan. Paper straws used in some hotels for environmental protection are also well received. Under the call for a reduction in the momentum of plastic waste, various paper companies are working on alternative materials and new uses.
Moisture is difficult to pass
The opportunity for the value of paper to be re-recognized is that the trend of stopping the use of plastic products such as straws on the grounds of negative impact on the ecosystem has been extended to the catering industry. Discussions on strengthening supervision at the international level are also advancing, blowing up the demand for paper that has been falling due to the downturn in information and the downturn in the publishing industry. Yajima, president of the Japan Paper Association, said that "the characteristics of a paper-friendly environment have been re-recognized" and that it has achieved results.
In addition to selling raw materials for straws to manufacturers, the Prince Holdings Group has also developed food packaging papers that can be used as Japanese pancake bags. By applying a chemical, oxygen and moisture are difficult to pass.
In order to explore the demand for alternative plastics, Nippon Paper Co., Ltd. established a “paper solution promotion room” in August. New paper beverage containers will be sold starting in 2019, aiming to switch from plastic bottles. In the past, paper containers were difficult to load juice mixed with pulp, but the company solved the problem by modifying the production method.
Improve the image of the environment
For enterprises, although paper products increase costs, they are expected to be considered to be enthusiastic about environmental protection and enhance corporate image. In July, American hotel giant Hilton replaced the straws used in 14 hotels in Japan, including the Conrad Tokyo, with yellow paper straws
, red chevron paper straws
, yellow and gray paper straws
. The person in charge said, "The appearance is very popular, and there are many people who send it to the social networking site (SNS)." The move is said to cut 1.4 million plastic straws a year.
There have also been companies that replaced the straws and cups of the staff canteen with paper, like the Sumitomo Mitsui Marine Fire Insurance and the Japanese company Xingya.
Chemical manufacturers have not stood idly by. Companies such as Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings have stepped up efforts to develop "biodegradable plastics" that decompose in nature through microbial action, striving to eliminate the poor image of plastics.
Zhonghua Company increased the plant equipment in Takasago City, Hyogo Prefecture, and increased the production capacity of biodegradable plastics to five times by the end of 2019. The company has obtained an international certification that is decomposed in seawater, and it is expected to be decomposed even if it flows into the ocean after being rubbish, rather than long-term residual effects. The company will work to increase its adoption in tableware such as food packaging and forks.
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