Why did biodegradable PLA straws become popular?

In recent years, the public's awareness of environmental issues and their hazards has been increasing, and the pollution hazards of plastic products to the earth's ecological environment have received more and more attention.

According to a report released by the United Nations Environment Program in 2021, from 1950 to 2017, the world produced about 9.2 billion tons of plastics, of which the recycling rate of plastics was less than 10%, and about 7 billion tons became plastic waste. It is estimated that by 2040, about 710 million tons of plastic waste will be discarded into the natural environment every year around the world. The American "Science Advances" magazine warns that by 2050, there will be more than 13 billion tons of plastic waste on the earth, and the blue earth may become a "plastic planet".

The following are plastic restrictions issued by some organizations and enterprises:
According to Xinhua News Agency, the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly resumed on March 2 in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and passed the "Resolution on Ending Plastic Pollution (Draft)". The legally binding resolution aims to promote a global fight against plastic pollution.

According to the "Nihon Keizai Shimbun" report, the European Commission proposed to EU member states and the European Parliament on May 28, 2018 to introduce new regulations prohibiting the use of disposable plastic straws.

On July 9, 2018, Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain giant, announced that it will completely phase out disposable plastic straws by 2020. Starbucks has more than 28,000 stores and uses more than 1 billion plastic straws every year. As an industry leader, Starbucks is very conscious of environmental protection in this policy.

According to statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA), in the past five years, more than 60 countries have implemented bans or taxes on disposable plastics, and major economies such as the European Union, the United States, and China have even begun to upgrade the "plastic restriction order" to "Plastic ban". Behind the promulgation of the international legislation "Plastic Restriction Order", there is an all-round alarm for plastic pollution.

With the ban on disposable plastic straws, paper straws began to enter the catering market on a large scale. Due to the technical process problems of traditional paper straws, some small companies use poor quality paper and adhesives in order to save costs, resulting in paper straws have an unpleasant smell of glue, and they will become soft after soaking for a long time, and people will eat paper scraps. Due to the bad experience of paper straws, biodegradable polylactic acid PLA straws began to enter the market quickly.

First of all, let's clarify what is PLA?
Polylactic acid, referred to as PLA, is a polyester polymer obtained by polymerizing lactic acid as the main raw material. It is a new type of biodegradable material. It is made using starch raw materials derived from renewable plant resources such as corn. The starch raw material is saccharified to obtain glucose, and then fermented by glucose and certain strains to produce high-purity lactic acid, and then synthesize polylactic acid with a certain molecular weight by chemical synthesis.

You may have questions, there are so many types of straws, why are PLA polylactic acid straws more accepted? What are its advantages?
1. Meet the "Plastic Restriction Order": polylactic acid has good biodegradability, and can be completely degraded by microorganisms in nature within 3-6 months after use, and finally produces carbon dioxide and water, which does not pollute the environment, which is very important for environmental protection It is very beneficial and is recognized as an environmentally friendly material. Polylactic acid (PLA) is currently considered to be the main alternative product to solve the "white pollution" of plastic products, and it is currently the most industrialized biodegradable material.

2. Popular with consumers: The taste of PLA straws is similar to that of traditional disposable plastic straws. It has high hardness, good foam resistance, and no peculiar smell. It meets the public's awareness of environmental protection and gives consumers a good sense of experience.

3. Superior performance: The appearance and performance of PLA degradable straws are close to those of traditional straw products made of polypropylene. This product has good gloss and transparency, and has the advantages of safety, hygiene, environmental protection, and biodegradability. The shelf life can reach 12 months.

The ban on use of plastic straws has created a huge market demand for biodegradable straws. In order to help catering, tea and other large chain enterprises solve the problem of disposable plastic straw replacement, Songhu took the lead in setting up an engineer team of PLA straw extrusion production line. After the professional engineers studied the characteristics of polylactic acid raw materials, the PLA straw extrusion production line was successfully launched, which was warmly received by customers.

The PLA straw extrusion line is used to produce straws such as PLA, PP, and PE. Equipped with different extruders and molds according to different requirements of customers, it can produce straight straws and bendable straws of single color, multi-color, and different sizes.

For the purpose of high-speed extrusion molding of PLA straws, combined with the characteristics of PLA materials, from the perspective of customers' actual use, Songhu improved the overall structure of the PLA straw extrusion production line, provided the production speed of PLA straws, and realized the high efficiency and stability production of PLA straws.

The composition of PLA straw production line and its production process:
1. Extruder:
The drying hopper dries and dehumidifies the PLA material, and under the action of high-temperature extrusion of the screw and the barrel, the molten and plasticized PLA material is extruded in equal pressure and amounts.

2. Precision Extrusion Mould:
Preliminary forming of tube size

3. Cooling Water Tank:
Make the tube to achieve the effect of complete cooling, cooling and forming

4. Belt Traction Machine:
The tube is pulled at a constant speed by the belt

5. Cutting Machine:
Equal length cutting into tubes of various specifications

6. Straw Sorting Conveyor:
Automatically arrange neatly and convey the products, and the collection tank collects final PLA straws.

Common specifications of PLA straws: diameter 4 - 11 mm, wall thickness 0.14 - 0.2 mm, length 150 mm - 240 mm.

The ban on plastic straws will bring a huge increase in the market demand for degradable straws. As an advocate of green environmental protection, Songhu will spare no effort to serve the anti-plastic action, and is committed to the research and development, production and sales of PLA degradable materials and PLA straw extrusion production lines, providing customers with high-quality PLA raw materials and high-performance PLA Straw production lines.

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