While enjoying New Year celebrations, many Chinese residents noticed they had to bid adieu not just to 2020, but also convenient, single-use plastic items at supermarkets, food stalls, and coffee shops.
Atop the list are plastic straws, which are almost indispensable in the lives of milk-tea-addicted Chinese young people.
The first day of 2021 also marked the beginning of China’s plan to reduce plastic pollution by banning single-use plastics. The plan was unveiled in January 2020, and details steps to reduce plastic pollution from 2020 to 2025, with the likes of plastic bags and straws targeted in phase 1.
In Shanghai food establishments, paper or polylactic acid straws have already replaced plastic ones, while others have just stopped providing straws all together.
“In all the Starbucks stores in China, the plastic straws have been replaced as well, and it could help us reduced plastic usage by 200 tonnes every year,” said its brand manager in Shanghai.