China will ban plastic straws……soon

Major cities in China will ban plastic drinking straws and non-degradable plastic bags by the end of 2020 RTHK reports.

However, how to define non-degradable? A biodegradable material needs to be exposed to sunlight to starting decomposing, bury it in concrete doesn’t mean it will decompose.

This announcement goes further than just straws, the NDRC also advising that disposable plastic products should not be “actively provided” by hotels by 2022.

Similar bans and voluntary action still does not touch the surface, the commercial use of plastic, for example, the tonnes of plastic wrapping used for cargo, still has not been addressed.

Unintended Consequences

Switching from disposable plastic cutlery could cause unforeseen consequences, in Hong Kong, one restaurant that switched to reusable cutlery delivered the cutlery in a steaming cup of hot water!

Waste has been traded, swapping plastic for water plus the energy need to heat that water, be careful what you wish for.