Environmentally Friendly PLA Straws: Degradable and Recyclable

Disposable plastic straws are stable and non-degradable. It takes at least 2000 years to degrade when discarded in nature. They are made of recyclable materials, but due to their small size and light weight, they are easily ignored by recyclers. . The fate of disposable straws accounts for the largest proportion of two, either being incinerated or accumulating in the environment to fend for themselves; both of these results will cause harm to people and the environment. For these reasons, single-use plastic straws are being banned worldwide.




There are several ways to replace traditional non-degradable straws:


  1. Change the drinking method without using a straw;

  2. Switch to non-straw methods such as suction nozzles;

  3. Fully degradable straws such as biodegradable plastic straws, paper straws, straw straws, starch straws, etc.;

  4. The straws can be recycled and reused, such as stainless steel straws, glass straws, etc.


Polylactic acid (PLA) Straws


PLA straws use renewable plant resource lactic acid as raw material, which has the advantages of renewable raw materials, fully degradable and biosafety. It is a project developed on the basis of traditional polypropylene (PP) straws in recent years. The production process is simple and the production cycle is short. It adopts a one-time extrusion molding process, and with the help of the extrusion action of the screw, the heated and melted PLA particles are extruded through the die of the die, cooled and shaped by the water tank, and then cut into various pieces. different sizes of straws.


PLA straws have good biodegradability, degrade to generate CO2 and H2O, do not pollute the environment, and can meet the needs of industrial composting. The straw extruded at high temperature has good thermal stability and good solvent resistance. Its product gloss, transparency and hand feel can replace petroleum-based products. The physical and chemical indicators of the product can meet the requirements of local food safety regulations. Require. Therefore, it has a wide range of applications and can basically meet the needs of most beverages on the market.


PLA straws have good moisture resistance and airtightness, and are stable at room temperature, but they will automatically decompose when the temperature is higher than 45 °C or under the action of oxygen enrichment and microorganisms. Special attention should be paid to the temperature during the transportation and storage of the product. Prolonged high temperature will cause deformation of the PLA straw.


Due to the limitation of the performance of raw materials, PLA straws cannot be used for hot drinks during use, but are more suitable for cold drinks.



Paper Straws


Paper straws use food-grade virgin wood pulp paper as the main raw material, and its production process is processed by three or four layers of food-grade base paper gluing, rolling, slitting, drying and other steps. During the molding process, it is necessary to pay attention to factors such as machine speed and amount of glue, and adjust the diameter of the straw through the size of the mandrel. The entire production process of paper straws is relatively simple and easy to mass-produce.


However, the price of paper straws is high, and the use experience needs to be optimized. It is necessary to use paper and adhesives that meet food safety requirements. If it is a paper straw with a printed pattern, the food safety of the ink is also required to meet the requirements, because they all need to be in direct contact with food, and the food safety performance of the product must be guaranteed. At the same time, it must be suitable for many beverages on the market. Many paper straws will soften and open when exposed to high-temperature beverages or acidic beverages. These are problems that we need to pay attention to.



Starch Straws


Starch straws are produced with wheat, rice, corn, cassava, potatoes and other natural crop starch as the main raw materials. After a lot of verification and testing, they can meet the needs of contacting different beverages and dairy products. The starch straw will not melt when in use, but also can be eaten, does not cause pollution, and can achieve the purpose of environmental protection. The production process of starch straws abandons the traditional production method of straws and creates a new production method. The whole production line is made by mixing raw materials → high temperature extrusion → cutting and forming → hot air drying → sterilization and packaging, and can achieve automatic and large-scale production.


The starch straws extruded at high temperature have good water resistance, and are not as easily soaked and softened as paper straws, and can maintain their basic shape for 2 hours in cold drinks. However, the hardness will still decrease after soaking for a long time. Therefore, it is recommended that the use time should be shortened as much as possible to avoid prolonged soaking. The shelf life of starch straws can be up to 2 years when stored in a cool, dry and dark place.



Reusable Straws: glass straws, stainless steel straws


In addition to the above several degradable straw products, there are also reusable glass straws and stainless steel straws that are also the best alternatives to plastic straws.


Glass straw:

Made of high borosilicate glass, the appearance of the product is clear and transparent, clean and hygienic and easy to clean. It is resistant to cold and heat. It can be used whether it is juice, milk tea or hot coffee. The upper and lower ports of the straw are polished and polished. It will cause scratches to the user, whether it is the elderly or children can use it with confidence.


Stainless steel straw:

Made of food contact grade material, the metal material on the surface of the stainless steel straw will not cause harm to human health, the product has beautiful appearance, and can be used repeatedly, reflecting the concept of environmental protection, because glass and stainless steel straws have the hardness of metal and glass when sucking Do not bite and play, especially pay attention to safety during use, there is a risk of accidental injury.


For reusable straws, cleaning and disinfection are the top priorities. To solve this problem, each package of straw brushes with specially cleaned straws is cleaned and disinfected.

https://www.lekoch.com/biodegradable-plant-based-pla-straws


Plant Straws: Bamboo Straws


Bamboo straw: It is made of original ecological bamboo. The bamboo stem is physically polished and cut, and the color is smooth and beautiful. The bamboo raw material has been drained and baked, so it will not break or leak during use. condition. After use, it can be cleaned with water and can be used multiple times.

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