Plastic straws - what's your fate in 2019?

- May 16, 2019-

2018 is the year plastic straws start to end.From edicts to corporate promises, flags rejecting plastic straws have been planted in England, Seattle, Paris, Rio DE janeiro and elsewhere.Starbucks, McDonald's and even royal Caribbean cruises are saying goodbye to straws.

In 2019, more plastic straw "dead line" will come: California, San Francisco, China Taiwan and other places, Disney, ikea, marriott hotels and other enterprises...The list is constantly updated.

Plastic straws, which rely on atmospheric pressure to deliver flavor, are used in the hundreds of billions of tubes a year.After being used for a short time, they lie in every corner of the city, entering waste treatment plants or flowing into the sea, returning to the human vision with cruel images of sea creatures feeding on their stomachs.

Elegant inventions suddenly come to an end.

Refuse the plastic straw challenge

In 2018, GoalBlue, a public welfare organization in shenzhen, launched the "post-00 reject plastic straws" challenge for blue. Within half a month, more than 200 post-00 people have submitted their papers, and the challenge has been played more than 6 million times on video.

"The new generation of young people will be the main force of consumption," GoalBlue chief executive officer ziwen said. "their acceptance of the latest is high, and we hope to reach different age groups by guiding their consumption goals."

No more straws

Molly, 10, from north cairns, Australia, first learned about the dangers of plastic products to Marine life when she saw a scene in the plastic ocean documentary.

Scientists working in costa rica removed straws from the nasal passages of injured Pacific turtles

Molly sucking called on children to remind parents to say "no" to straws. She tweeted a label of "#stopsucking" and addressed TED: "sea turtles consider plastic bags to be jellyfish, this is their favorite food.We've all seen plastic straws piled up on the poor turtle's nose.It's not fair.

She is very happy to say that the principal of a school in Canada started the zero-straw campus action after watching her TED talk. So far, more than 600 schools, 500 stores and 500,000 people from New Zealand, South Korea, the United States, Britain and Canada have participated in the plan.

Human encounters with straws date back 7,000 years.

In Taiwan's Michelin guide e-paper, a food blogger summarizes the history of straws.Sumerian tomb murals show aristocrats drinking beer from hollow stems.At this time the straw is half a person high enough, when drinking the wine will be placed on the ground with drinking.Straw is also found in ancient China. It was recorded in the northern wei dynasty that straw was made from plant stems to drink wine from a stove.

| of the British museum, Sumerian murals

The last Straw in a Straw the last Straw in a StrawMore than 4,000 years after the sumerians learned to drink beer from hollow stems, the mesopotamian city of ur produced gold and precious stones for sipping, but only for royal use.

The gold cup handle is the straw

In the 16th century, the drinking of matcha began in South America, and by this time straw had been widely extended to silver, copper and other metals.

| chart of the 16th century South American straw "Bombilla" Michelin guide for Taiwan, China

The habit of things suddenly disappeared, with the help of substitutes can help guide them to establish new consumption habits.

The army of alternatives to plastic straws is coming in all directions, divided into four factions: non-plastic straws, recycled straws, eating straws, or simply making straws disappear by drinking straight from the lid.

Plant material is the most popular concept.Taiwan's 100% organic brand features bagasse tubes made from sugarcane fibre, a waste product from farming. The thick, yellowish straw looks like spaghetti and offers a new option for drinking pearl milk tea.

What can recycle is qualitative having stainless steel, glass, but the straw that makes with stainless steel in the early days is rather some drab and easy knock mouth.On kickstarter, a us crowdfunding platform, the Canadian foldable straw FinalStraw and the Singaporean start-up Chew, a green straw, happen to be the same, with a combination of silica gel at both ends of the stainless steel straw, so that consumers can feel free to suck and bite like a plastic straw.

In the raising Kickstarter hot-selling Chew, made of stainless steel and silica gel visual ❘ figure in China

Web celebrity straws, which can be eaten, are also common.A south Korean company has developed an edible straw made from a mixture of rice and cassava before a trial ban on plastic bags began in August 2018.New York startup LOLIWARE also designed seaweed straws.

McDonald's and starbucks are simultaneously switching to drinking straight from the lid through a straw.In 10 McDonald's pilot restaurants in Beijing, special switches have been set at the suction end of the lid to unlock the new method of drinking cold drinks.

"No straws" signs are displayed on the counter at kehui road McDonald's in Beijing.Vision China ❘ figure

Starbucks has introduced a new teacup shaped like a duck's beak -- with a slightly upturned end and a teardrop-shaped mouth the size of a thumbprint -- to allow customers to sip cold zzy coffee and anything else covered with cold milk foam.

The pipe-free experience has been mixed.Chen tutu (not his real name), who works in Beijing, thinks McDonald's new lid tastes good without a straw: "even if you offer a lid without a straw, I will ask the staff for a straw. A cold drink without a straw is soulless."KeyKey(not his real name), a student at jinan university, said starbucks' LIDS are "very easy to use and environmentally friendly, and will be used again".

Starbucks has introduced a new lid-shaped alternative to a straw that looks like a duck's beak

However, some netizens questioned whether "one plastic lid =6 straws", using more consumables.Starbucks responded that the straws were too small to escape the fate of ending up in trash.But the new lid is made of recycled polypropylene and is completely recyclable.

The search for straw materials continues.

Workers at the eco glass straw factory in Oregon, us, accelerate the production of glass straws.Vision China ❘ figure

According to the Atlantic and other media reports, rye straw born in Ohio in the 19th century has become the origin of modern straw, but plant material is not the best choice.By 1888, paper straws were all the rage in the United States, producing more than 2 million of the "cheap, durable and impeccable" artificial straws every day at their peak.

However, paper straws haven't held their first place for long. In the 1960s, they were overwhelmingly replaced by plastic straws that were cheaper to make, less soluble, colorless, odorless, sanitary and convenient.

Now, the "original" material is back in view, China's two major straw company nanjing pengli shaping and zhejiang double child straw is not without consideration.An annual production of 100 billion straws means that about four out of every 10 straws are made in China.

Li erqiao, general manager of shuangtong straw, said the company had already developed straw for rice and seaweed in the laboratory, but failed to push it to the market due to the high production cost.

Li erqiao also put forward the short board of edible straw: "some can't eat without secondary processing."Take the rice straw as an example. Cassava starch added to the straw to enhance its toughness is not suitable for raw food.Yu peng, deputy general manager of pengli shaping, also put forward requirements on edible straws to ensure their storability and taste diversity: "straws made from rice and corn materials don't taste very good.Good taste, taste choice, consumer acceptance is high.

Considering that the materials come from a wide range of sources and can be put into industrial production, li erqiao told southern weekend that although plastics are not environment-friendly materials, it is undeniable that the high cost performance of plastic products in the use process stabilizes its position that it is difficult to be quickly replaced by similar products.

"Unless the subsequent technological development and cost control can break through the current production bottleneck."Li erqiao thinks, can edible straw become mainstream still unknown.

Alternatives do not necessarily reduce waste

When the ban on plastic straws hit, straws makers did feel a drop in sales.But there are business opportunities.

Wooden straws are introduced at the Tokyo parliament hotel in Tokyo, Japan.Vision China ❘ figure

Among the various alternatives, the new biological group is favored, mainly polylactic acid (PLA). The production process is not complicated: the starch in the cereal chaff, straw and wheat straw is converted into glucose, which is then fermented into high purity lactic acid, which can be synthesized chemically.

Although the export volume of plastic straws has been slightly reduced, the annual export volume of paper straws and PLA straws shaped by pengli has reached 4 billion to 5 billion, and the market size is still expanding.

As early as 2014, double child straws participated in the drafting of the national industry standards for polylactic acid cold drink straws (QB/T 4633), which stipulated the terms and definitions, classification, requirements, test methods, inspection rules, packaging, marking, transportation and storage of polylactic acid cold drink straws.However, this is a recommendation, not a mandate.

Although it has a plant-derived green label, PLA can only be completely degraded under certain conditions after a certain reaction time.This also means that if the PLA straw is discarded in the environment without being absorbed, it is no different from the plastic straw.

Straws are aware of the problem.According to yu peng, PLA needs to be recycled together and saved up for degradation by industrial compost.Whether it's plastic straws or other products, "the environmental damage can be reduced if recyclable and exploitable recycling is really achieved," li said.

No one can easily answer the three questions of the soul: who to recycle, how to recycle, and what to do with it after recycling.

Zero waste alliance deputy secretary general yue caixuan introduced to the southern weekend, in order to achieve the waterproof effect, some of the so-called biological material straw also need to mix degradable plastic, its essence is still plastic, and because of its mixed component properties, in the recycling process is difficult to classify, resulting in further difficult classification recycling.

"If it's a high value recyclable item, it's very easy for us to collect it in the community.Yue caixuan concludes.

From the perspective of zero waste alliance, the production of disposable biodegradable products cannot effectively prevent or reduce the potential environmental harm, because mass production "does not reduce the amount of garbage".

Yue caixuan brought up the "ten years of plastic merchants to implement the investigation report," to the fourth point in the final proposal to draw the line: "encourage businesses and consumers in the reality of repeated use is the way out.

It's important to note that after Seattle banned single-use plastic straws altogether, people with disabilities sent letters to the city of Seattle protesting the inconvenience.

Will the straw go away?Yu gave a negative answer."In the future, straws will also be used in certain situations, as long as they are recyclable."

In the article links: plastic online at