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Biodegradable tableware has significant market potential!

On June 30, 2020, Mcdonald's announced that thousands of canteens located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, will stop using plastic straws. Consumers can drink the cold drink directly with the new style of the lip. This measure will reduce about 400 tons of plastic per year. Nowadays, Mcdonald's has upgraded their cup lids, allowing consumers to drink cola and juice without straws.


biodegradable plate


What's more, Starbucks and HEYTEA were also reducing the use of disposable plastic straws. In April 2019, Starbuck stopped using plastic straws in Shanghai and Shenzhen. For normal drinks, consumers could use a new-developed cup lid for drinking directly; for other drinks that need straws, Starbuck provides paper straws for drinking. According to the media, as of Dec. 31, 2019, Starbuck had finished changing the disposable straw in all their stores in China, which can realize their promise of stopping using plastic straws in China before 2020. HEYTEA began to promote paper in 2019. According to the report, as of the end of 2019, about 14.4% of consumers choose paper straws as their favorite types.


According to data from iiMedia Research, the scale of the takeaway industry increased so fast in recent years, and the takeaway scale reached 653.6 billion in China in 2019. The development of the takeaway industry brings a lot of convenience to our daily lives, while a large amount of tableware uses takeaway bags also accelerates environmental pollution. In early 2019, Zhanglei, Shanghai CPPCC member and market supervision bureau deputy director, said that the takeaway industry increased so fast, about 2 million orders per day, needing lots of tableware and bags, which caused new white pollution.


Meituan and ELEME are also aware of the problem of environmental pollution in the takeaway industry. For example, Meituan held an event called "Qingshan Plan" in 2017 to promote the environmentally friendly process of the takeaway industry, including adding a selection of "Don't need tableware", using paper to replace plastic, establishing a special fund for environmental protection, etc. YUTOECO is also listed on the first batch of the green packaging recommendation lists.


According to industry insiders, reducing plastic use on straws is easy to realize, such as changing the design of cup lids or replacing the plastic straw with paper straws. While reducing the use of plastic meal boxes also faces the problem of high costs and raw material shortage. Nowadays, we mainly use plastic meal boxes in China, such as PP, PS, PET, etc. All materials mentioned above are recyclable, but citizens' awareness of garbage sorting is still weak, which causes it hard to recycle. The cost of biodegradable tableware is once or twice higher than plastic meal boxes. Many large corporations will cost thousands of money only to replace plastic straws.


However, environmental protection is urgent! According to the announcement of Further Strengthen the Dealing of Plastic Pollution Opinions launched by the National Development and Reform Commission, by the end of 2020, non-biodegradable disposable plastic straws must be banned nationwide in the catering industry; non-biodegradable disposable plastic tableware must be banned in restaurants in cities at or above the prefectural level; by the end of 2022, non-biodegradable disposable plastic tableware must be banned on catering services in built-up areas of counties. Therefore, food and beverage enterprises to reduce plastic is imperative, and a long way to go.

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