“The Most Strict Ban on Free Plastic Bags” has entered the countdown!
In January 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued the "Opinions on Further Strengthening the Treatment of Plastic Pollution". It stipulated that shopping malls, supermarkets and food distribution areas in Chongqing, China, and key cities will take the lead in banning the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags, the production and sales of disposable foam plastic tableware by the end of the year. In main cities, it is forbidden to use non-biodegradable disposable plastic tableware for catering. And it is forbidden to use non-biodegradable plastic straws in the national catering industry. This is called "the most strict ban on free plastic bags".
2020 has passed, have all of these industries that are closely related to consumers changed?
Many catering chain brands and existing tea shops have taken the lead in proposing corresponding measures. In 2018, Starbucks announced that it would no longer offer plastic straws and gradually replaced its drink cup lids with “duckbill lids”. By June 2020, stores in China have reduced the use of more than 11 million plastic straws. Also, McDonald's China is abandoning plastic straws and is gradually promoting paper packaging.
With low output and high cost, the consumption experience of paper straws is not good. There is still a long way to go for brands to "reduce plastic". The first group that feels the change is the young consumers who are keen on tea and coffee. However, while praising the "environmental protection" concept of major brands, there is still a lot of controversy among consumers regarding the use of "paper straws” in tea and drinks under the ban on free plastic bags.
The controversy is mainly about that paper straws are easy to soften and are easily sucked out by beverages to produce a smell like paper. However, for companies or shops, the biggest problem with paper straws is the cost. Data shows that the cost of paper straws usually cost several times as much as plastic straws. At the same time, only 150 to 200 paper straws can be produced per minute due to the slow speed of deep processing equipment. However, plastic extrusion equipment can produce more than 2,000 straws per minute. This is one of the obvious burdens of major catering brands.
Nowadays, "the most strict ban on free plastic bags" has begun. There are more and more catering giants, existing beverage shops and fast-food restaurants that have taken measures to reduce plastic. Will the food industry that is close to consumers be affected like them? The answer is almost yes.
According to a report in The Guardian on December 7, 2020, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé have been named the world’s top three plastic pollution companies for three years in a row. Large brand families are accused of “zero progress” in reducing plastic waste. Nowadays, they are receiving more and more attention under the ban on free plastic bags, which is unfriendly news. In response, many companies are taking preventive measures and taking the lead in making changes with the original intention of "plastic limits" and "environmental protection".
In order to get a better experience of China paper drinking straws, we are also constantly improving and upgrading to improve the hardness of the paper straws and avoid deformation during transportation. Although "the most strict ban on free plastic bags" has not yet affected the beverage and dairy industries, the day is not far away under the global "reduction of plastics" trend.
In the future, China paper straws will become a breakthrough in "environmental protection and the plastic reduction" in the large beverage industry. Fortunately, there are already many pioneers who offer innovative experience and consumer education. Of course, we also look forward to the see lower-cost, healthier and easily degradable products and other alternatives.