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Survey on alternatives to single-use plastic cutlery

Update:19 Apr 2022
Summary:

(1) Paper box According to disposable plastic tableware […]

(1) Paper box
According to disposable plastic tableware manufacturers, paper is the most familiar type of material. "Replacing plastic with paper" has naturally become the first solution that people think of.
The paper substitute technology uses pulp as raw material, which is molded and dried in the mold to produce disposable tableware. The tableware made by this method has been dubbed the title of "environmentally friendly product" because of its non-toxic, harmless, easy recycling, recyclable, and degradable advantages.
However, this technology also has shortcomings if it is evaluated from the whole process of paper production. First, the production of pulp requires a lot of forest resources, and my country's forest resources are limited, and a large number of felling trees cause soil erosion, which is not in line with my country's national conditions; on the other hand, pulp production will cause serious water pollution, and in some cases The level of pollution even exceeds that of plastic. Therefore, from a macro point of view, the use of paper instead of plastic technology can not completely eliminate the pollution to the environment, but only advance the pollution of tableware to the environment when making lunch boxes.
In addition, the high production cost of pulp makes the price of paper tableware produced with pulp relatively high, so using paper instead of plastic is not a perfect solution.
(2) Degradable plastic lunch box
The raw materials of this kind of lunch box are degradable plastics. The so-called degradable plastics are adding a certain amount of additives in the production process of plastics, such as photosensitizers, starches and other raw materials. In this way, the degradable plastic products are used up and discarded. After three months of exposure to nature, the intact shape can be broken down into pieces, thereby improving the environment at least visually.
But the biggest flaw of this technology is that these fragments can't continue to degrade, but just turn from large pieces into small pieces of plastic, which cannot be fundamentally qualified for the task of eliminating white pollution.
(3) Plant fiber lunch box
This technology uses plant fibers, such as straw, straw, bagasse, etc., to be crushed to obtain fiber powder, which is then mixed with a certain amount of glue or resin, and then injected into the mold under high pressure and high temperature.
The products produced by this technology have good degradability and rich raw material sources, but the disposable tableware produced by this technology does not remove cellulose pigments in production (because chemical bleaching methods must be adopted to remove pigments, which is bound to cause water pollution), the appearance and color of the product are not satisfactory.
(4) Biodegradable lunch box
Biodegradable lunch box is a relatively advanced environmental protection product.
It uses starch as the main raw material, adds annual plant fiber powder and special additives, and is processed by chemical and physical methods to make a biodegradable snack box. Because starch is a biodegradable natural polymer, it is decomposed into glucose under the action of microorganisms, and finally decomposed into water and carbon dioxide.
In addition, the material blended with it is also a fully degradable material, so it can be said that it has no impact on the environment.
The main source of raw starch production can be corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other annual growing plants.
Naturally, biodegradable lunch boxes are not perfect. For example, most of the production raw materials are food crops, and there are still problems such as mildew resistance that need to be solved.

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