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Beijing, Hong Kong And Other Places Ttry Not To Provide Straws Part 2
- Jan 16, 2019 -

  This article is the second half of Beijing, Hong Kong and other places to try not to provide the straw, pre-predictive can be viewed in our news list.

“When we order drinks at the restaurant, we often ask for 'ice to go' or 'go sugar', but we can hardly think of going to the 'drinking tube'.” The Hong Kong Ocean Park Conservation Fund has launched several promotional advertisements in recent years, including “plastic waste”. "Image and statistics are thought-provoking. According to the latest survey of the fund, the average Hong Kong citizen aged 15 to 59 uses 5.73 plastic straws per person per week. It is estimated that the total number of plastic straws used in Hong Kong is 1.44 billion.


However, you know that plastic pipettes are often used for a few minutes, and the natural degradation process takes hundreds of years. Once a large number of plastic straws are not effectively treated, it will cause damage to the natural environment and human health.


“The straw is mostly used in the catering industry. It is mainly made of polypropylene material. This material has the advantage of heat resistance. It can withstand high temperatures of 130 ° C. It can be put into the microwave plastic, so it can be used to drink hot drinks.” Southeast University Energy and Huang Wei, an associate professor at the School of Environment, said that the chemical stability of polypropylene is very good. In addition to being attacked by concentrated sulfuric acid and concentrated nitric acid, it is relatively stable to various other chemical agents, so the pipette is extremely difficult to degrade naturally.


Does that mean that people can't do anything about the degradation of plastic straws? Astragalus explained that low molecular weight aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated hydrocarbons can soften and swell polypropylene. If plastic straws made of polypropylene are collected, they can be chemically degraded.


However, the current recycling status of straws is not optimistic. According to the analysis of Astragalus, although many plastic straws are made of recyclable polypropylene, the plastic straws seen on the market are different in thickness, hardness, and color, and the ingredients are not only complicated but also varied in materials. Compared with mineral water bottles and cans, plastic straws are difficult to recycle and costly. It is not easy to sort the same color and the same color. In addition, the straw itself is a small product, and the recycler is not very motivated. .


Yu Xuerong told reporters that although the promotion of degradable materials in tableware is steadily advancing, the current action of restricting straws has not been carried out in many places. The biggest reason is that there is no research and development and mass production can completely replace plastics. The material of the straw can meet the requirements of high quality and low price, and has certain heat and cold resistance. At present, corn straws, paper straws or other naturally degradable straws introduced in some places, or due to high development and production costs, or due to the quality can not fully meet the requirements of use, it is still difficult to promote large-scale use.


Improve design, change habits, and reduce disposable tableware use


“Drinking tube is one of the most closely related plastic products with people's lives. The 'drinking tube' is of great significance to 'all-round plasticization'.” The Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr. Zhang Jianzong, told reporters, “Sometimes I see everyone in the short It takes a lot of pain to use a lot of plastic tableware in a few dozen minutes. The disposable tableware has a profound impact on the environment. We must make changes from the source."


According to reports, the Hong Kong SAR Government is actively studying waste reduction measures, including introducing a producer liability system for plastic beverage bottles, collecting waste plastics at government environmental protection offices, and stopping the sale of plastic bottles of water below 1 liter at government sites. The Environmental Protection Department and the Environmental Campaign Committee have reached a cooperation agreement with the Hong Kong Catering Federation. From this year onwards, the publicity, public education and pilot schemes will be implemented in phases throughout the territory to enhance the public's awareness of "going out".


Huang Wei believes that restricting the use of straws is a positive and beneficial attempt in the context of plastic limiting, and will be exemplary in terms of plastic reduction.


“Drinking tube is the first step.” The person in charge of the group said that the branch is studying to change the existing plastic forks and spoons into “two in one” design, reducing the number of used tableware. “When all measures are fully implemented, it is expected The overall plastic consumption can be reduced by more than 50%". The head of the Greater Happiness Group said that while the distribution of straws was stopped, the Group will gradually replace the plastic straws with paper straws. It is expected that the amount of plastic tableware in the whole line will be reduced by 15% after the conversion.


“Environmental action has a long way to go, and support from all walks of life is crucial.” Huang Jinxing, director of the Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, bluntly said that “all-round molding” still faces many difficulties, such as increased cost of catering enterprises, lack of plastic recycling facilities, industry and environmental protection. People have differences of opinion and citizens are used to changing slowly.


Huang Wei believes that relevant departments, industry associations, etc. should increase the propaganda of the plastic limit order. At present, disposable plastic products commonly used in the take-out industry and the catering industry have seriously increased the environmental burden. Therefore, the government and associations should guide enterprises and consumers to reduce the production and consumption of disposable plastic products. For enterprises, they should comply with the trend and consensus of green environmental protection, and produce disposable products that are easy to degrade as much as possible, or disposable products that are easy to recycle.