Straws are a common type of daily necessities in our daily life, which are widely used in the field of packaging beverages and making beverages. From the material point, commonly used straw materials are stainless steel, silicone rubber, plastic, etc. However, under the constraints of many factors such as portability, safety and cost, plastic straws are still the most widely used straws. This article mainly introduces the current use status and standards of plastic straws, and provides a certain reference for the future development of the straw industry.
As a food-contact thing, the straw is in direct contact with the human mucosa during use. What's more, the material of the straw will inevitably migrate into the beverage and the human body. Therefore, the state has formulated relevant standards to regulate related products to ensure safety. The commonly used polymer materials for plastic straws are polypropylene (PP) and polylactic acid (PLA).
Polypropylene is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic with good toughness and mechanical strength, and it is inert and non-toxic to acids, alkalis, organic solvents, etc. This material is suitable for a wide range of temperatures. It is also used in food and beverage packaging materials and has been widely used in straws. Polypropylene straws are natural non-degradable materials, which cannot be naturally decomposed in nature. In recent years, the country has paid more and more attention to environmental protection, and straws which is made of polylactic acid came into being and came into people's vision.
Polylactic acid is a thermoplastic polyester material, which has good mechanical properties and processability. Moreover, polylactic acid products can be naturally degraded quickly after being discarded in a variety of ways.
At present, polylactic acid products have been applied to straws which is produced by shrink film wrapper machine, shrink wrap machine and hand held shrink wrap machine. As the country has also issued relevant standards for polylactic acid materials. This standard defines the scope of polylactic acid cold drinking straws and defines related terms. It classifies the polylactic acid cold drinking straws and gives the corresponding physical and chemical specifications, degradation and other requirements and measurement calculation standards. The standard stipulates the inspection rules for polylactic acid cold drinking straws and the requirements for sign packaging.
Plastic straws are currently widely used in packaging beverages, catering industry and household use. According to National Park Service reports, Americans use an average of 1.6 disposable straws per person per day. A person from 5 to 65 years old will use about 38,000 straws. The US uses 500 million plastic straws every day.
Plastic straws are a common part of plastic recycling. However, due to the slim shape of the plastic straw, it easily slips out of the gap during the recycling process. Many plastic straws end up in the ocean. And their shape will cause them to be eaten by some marine animals, causing damage to some marine animals, such as turtles and seabirds. When plastic straws are not recycled, they tend to accumulate in landfills. Plastic straws are often made of very thin plastic, which means that they are easily broken into small pieces of miniature plastic. This makes the recycling of plastic straws difficult. As people pay more and more attention to plastic straws, many large companies have also announced their initiatives to replace the plastic straws with paper straws produced by paper straw machine.
Although plastic straws bring convenience to human life, it does great harm to the environment. It is an inevitable trend for paper straws to replace plastic straws in the future.