Entering 2021, the biggest change for milk tea drink lovers is that they can no longer drink milk tea with ordinary PP straws.
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", stipulating that by the end of 2020, non-degradable disposable plastic straws will be prohibited in the catering industry nationwide.
Non-degradable disposable plastic tableware is prohibited for catering services in built-up areas and scenic spots in cities above the prefecture level.
A reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily noted that most milk tea beverage shops in Beijing now provide paper straws or biodegradable straws, and some dessert shops provide wooden spoons. In take-out coffee, milk tea and other beverages, merchants Also actively provide paper straws or degradable straws.
Paper straws: It’s not easy to say that I love you
Xiao Hu, who was eating in Haidilao, used a paper straw to stir the soy milk in the cup for a few times and then took a new straw.
"Stir ten times, one will break." Xiao Hu said. The clerk also knew that the paper straws were easy to soak. "So they gave me four or five straight."
Since the most stringent plastic restriction order came into effect, the paper straws have been "spit out" on Weibo for many times due to their poor use.
At present, the Weibo topic #No Paper Strawberry Reason # has a reading volume of 110 million and a discussion volume of 16,000.
Ruijie, a milk tea lover, said that drinking milk tea with a paper straw made her encounter the first bottleneck in her life-often unable to poke in.
In addition, due to the material, the paper straw will become soft when it is soaked in the milk tea for a long time. "The taro balls and pearls at the bottom of the milk tea cup cannot be absorbed."
This is also how most consumers feel when using paper straws.
Some netizens said that the paper straw will have a taste that affects the taste of milk tea.
Some netizens also said that they are used to biting straws, and paper straws make them lose the joy of biting straws.
A reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily visited some milk tea beverage shops in Beijing before the Spring Festival, and learned that some shop assistants would actively remind consumers to drink milk tea as soon as possible. Reduce the inconvenience caused by soft paper straws.
On the takeaway platform, drink shops such as Happy Lemon deliberately set up instructions about paper straws on the page, stating that “the smell of paper straws is normal and harmless. Inserting the paper straws requires a little force. The paper straws will become soft due to prolonged soaking. , Please consume as soon as possible".
Due to the poor experience of using paper straws, many consumers still prefer to use ordinary PP straws.
The reporter noticed that there are still many consumers buying PP straws on e-commerce platforms.
The monthly sales of PP straws in a daily necessities store in Taobao reached 19,000 times.
Some consumers left a message saying: “I bought straws shortly after the plastic restriction order came out. I was afraid that it would be useless if I couldn’t buy them in the future. I stock up on paper straws because it’s too difficult to use.”
Many businesses reduce the use of straws, and degradable straws are favored
Reducing the use of straws is also a change made by many businesses under the requirements of the plastic restriction order.
In addition to replacing the straws in stores with paper straws and replacing the lids with biodegradable environmental protection caps, Starbucks will provide take-out services when consumers note that they will only provide straws.
McDonald's changed the lids of drinks such as cola and orange juice to environmentally friendly materials, and designed a protrusion on the lid so that consumers can drink it directly after pressing it without a straw.
Providing consumers with biodegradable straws is also the choice of most beverage stores.
At present, Xicha stores provide consumers with two straws, one is a paper straw and the other is a PLA (polylactic acid degradable material) straw.
It is understood that PLA is a new type of biodegradable material that is made from renewable plant resources, such as starch extracted from corn.
After use, it can be completely degraded by microorganisms in nature, and finally carbon dioxide and water are generated, which is very environmentally friendly.
The relevant person in charge of Hey Tea introduced that the screening, testing, polishing, and application of PLA materials had already begun nearly six months before the "plastic limit order" was launched.
As far as the PLA straw is the most direct consumer experience, in a few months, Hey Tea tested a variety of PLA straws from the two dimensions of quality and experience.
In addition to considerations of environmental protection factors such as biodegradability, a large number of tests have been carried out on straw length, inner and outer diameter, incision inclination, drop performance, appearance, etc. for the characteristics of hot and cold drinks. The performance of the straw has also been tested under certain conditions. For example, soak it in ethanol, acetic acid, and olive oil of specific purity, extend the soaking time, and soak at a higher temperature than the average maximum temperature of hot drinks.
At the same time, consumers are also organized to conduct blind tests on the straws in terms of the taste of the straw, whether the diameter of the straw is easy to absorb small materials, whether the straw will be damaged by biting hard, and whether there is a sense of foreign body, etc., and finally determine the supply plan after the consumer's approval .
The evaluation video of "Which milk tea shop’s paper straw is best to use" recorded by a video blogger has 1.47 million views on Weibo. In the evaluation video, the blogger evaluated the use of PLA straws and paper straws. .
After evaluation, the blogger stated that the PLA straw and the PP straw have a similar sense of use, "it is very comfortable to use."
The paper straws provided by most milk tea shops still remain hard within two hours. The blogger said: “Most people should be able to drink milk tea within two hours, so if you drink it as soon as possible, the paper straw feels comfortable to use. It's still acceptable."
The essence of "plastic limit" is to reduce the use of disposable products
my country has been taking relevant measures to "limit plastic" for many years.
In 2008, my country promulgated the "Plastic Restriction Order", stipulating that all supermarkets, shopping malls, bazaars and other retail places should implement a paid use system for plastic shopping bags.
After 12 years, the plastic restriction order further clarified the content and speeded up the withdrawal of plastic products from the consumer market.
Yiwu Shuangtong Commodity Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of PLA straws, has recently doubled its orders.
"Shuangtong" general manager Li Erqiao introduced that in 2020, the company will produce six or seven tons of PLA straws per day. Starting in January 2021, it will produce more than 20 tons per day.
According to Li Erqiao, a variety of products that can replace PP straws have been developed. In addition to non-disposable products such as stainless steel straws, the company also produces edible straws made of starch. "But such straws are mainly used When it comes to cold drinks, it melts when you encounter hot drinks."
Aiming at the problem that paper straws are easy to soak and rot, Li Erqiao introduced that the hardness of paper straws is mainly related to the quality of the raw materials. "If you use good paper, good adhesives, and a high degree of drying, paper straws It will not soften so easily and will not have such a strong smell."
Li Erqiao said that under the premise of huge market demand, many manufacturers cut corners in order to save costs and fail to ensure good quality.
According to reports, the cost of paper straws and PLA straws are higher than PP straws. "If the cost of PP straws is 1, then the cost of paper straws is 2, and the cost of PLA straws is 3-4."
At present, paper straws cannot be fully recycled, and the production of PLA straws requires a large supply of raw material starch, which consumes food.
He believes that in order to achieve true plastic limit, the first thing to do is to sort the garbage, and the most important thing is to reduce the use of disposable products and use as many reusable products as possible.
China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily reporter Zhang Min Source: China Youth Daily