Recently, the biodegradable plastics industry has been affected by the surge of raw materials, especially after the sharp rise of BDO price. Many industries dominated by PBAT bags have entered a wait-and-see state. And PLA whose price is relatively more stable is getting more attention. After the plastic ban, more and more brand manufacturers began to use biodegradable PLA straw because of the poor customer experience of paper straws.
Data show that in 2019, the cumulative output of plastic products in China reached 81.84 million tons, including nearly 30000 tons of plastic straws, about 46 billion straws, and more than 30 straws per capita. According to the notice on solid promotion of plastic pollution control issued by the state, disposable plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic tableware, etc. will be banned one after another.
The average production cost of plastic straw is 0.03 yuan per straw, that of conventional paper straw is 0.08-0.09 yuan per straw, and that of PLA straw is 0.17-0.2 yuan per straw. After the ban, businesses will basically first use paper straws.
Ordinary paper straw used to be in short supply because of its price advantage, but its reputation is not good because it is easy to break and is unsatisfactory in taste, smell, temperature resistance and water resistance. The biggest problem of paper straw is the poor experience. If you often use the paper straw provided by milk tea shop and coffee shop, you will find that the straw will soften after a while, and even affect the taste of the drink itself. The material characteristics of the paper itself determine that the water resistance of the paper straw is not strong enough, and it is difficult to be as light as the plastic straw. At present, consumers mainly reflect the paper straw use experience is poor, wet water is easy to break, not conducive to smoking and other problems.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a new type of bio based and renewable biodegradable material, which is made of starch from corn and cassava. After use, it can be completely degraded to produce carbon dioxide and water, which does not pollute the environment and is recognized as an environmentally friendly material. However, the shelf life of PLA and other degradable products is usually not more than 12 months, once the storage time is too long, it will degrade, so manufacturers must sell as soon as possible to avoid overstocking.
In general, pure PLA is rarely used as straws alone, and most of them are modified PLA raw materials, because in long-distance transportation, pure PLA straw will stick when it is over 50-60 ℃; pure PLA has no toughness, and some additives and fillers, such as calcium carbonate, talcum powder, etc., will be added, and PBS (a biodegradable plastic, polybutylene succinate) will be added for modification.