Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-03-09 Origin: Site
The rapid development of the food delivery industry in the past two years has resulted in a significant increase in disposable tableware usage. Especially because of the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the takeaway has become the choice of many people. At the same time, it has also brought about a rapid increase in the use of disposable tableware. Plastic packaging materials for a takeaway include plastic bags, plastic bowls, plastic soup spoons, and plastic soup cups. The environmental protection organization "Natural University" found that each takeaway consumes an average of 3.27 lunch boxes and produces approximately 160g of plastic. The number of disposable takeaway tableware in one day around the world is even more amazing.
127 countries have legislated on disposable plastic bags, prohibiting or restricting the use of disposable plastic bags, 27 countries have issued bans on specific disposable plastic products and plastic raw materials, and 63 countries have established producer extensions for disposable plastic products. Accountability (EPR) measures. When 35 countries restricted the use of non-degradable disposable plastics, they gave the green light to "degradable plastics" and allowed or encouraged the production of degradable plastics as substitutes.
The physical properties of several disposable tableware materials, etc.
|Raw Materials||Heat Resistance||Hardness||Hydrolysis Resistance||Degradation Rate|
The price of PE plastic tableware is the lowest, the price of starch-based plastic tableware is more expensive, and the price of bagasse tableware and PLA is relatively moderate. PLA is non-toxic, has good biocompatibility, excellent mechanical properties, toughness, heat resistance, high transparency, and high permeability to water vapour and oxygen. The processing of PLA requires a harsh processing environment. Compared with starch tableware, bagasse tableware is cheaper and has better mechanical properties. Real starch tableware has strong hardness but is not resistant to blisters. In order to increase its resistance to water, the starch tableware on the market has added plastic additives. At the same time, you can also feel that the tableware is not hard and very soft.
The degradable tableware is not recyclable and is suitable for disposable and difficult-to-recycle fields. Non-degradable disposable tableware is suitable for price-sensitive fields with low-performance requirements. Which type of tableware can be selected according to the actual use scene.
In addition to foamed plastic, the white disposable plastic tableware also has other types of biodegradable environmentally friendly disposable tableware. Most of this disposable environmentally friendly tableware are made of starch-based environmentally friendly pulp, such as bagasse tableware, corn tableware and so on.
White disposable tableware can be roughly divided into two types: one is foamed plastic and the other is non-plastic biodegradable tableware.
The biggest advantage of foamed plastic is that it has better thermal insulation and low cost. But disposable foamed plastic tableware is made of polystyrene plus butane foaming agent. Polystyrene is a large molecule polymerized from small molecules such as styrene and is non-toxic. But styrene monomer is toxic. If small molecules are not completely connected together during polymerization, monomeric styrene may remain in the material.
There is also the source of the material. If it is an illegal processing industry or unqualified plastic that will be recycled, harmful substances will remain.
Therefore, you should pay attention to the correct use when using it. If the foaming tableware is boiled in water and heated in a microwave oven, it will definitely break. As long as the temperature of the packaged food does not exceed 70 degrees Celsius, no harmful substances will be produced.
Therefore, when identifying degradable environmentally friendly tableware such as foamed plastic disposable tableware and bagasse tableware, disposable foamed tableware does not have the characteristics of oil resistance and high-temperature resistance. Disposable foamed plastics are water-resistant, while bagasse tableware is pulp tableware, which is not very waterproof, but bagasse tableware has good restorability. Drying the bagasse tableware that has seeped water will return to its original shape.
The chemical reaction principle can also be used to distinguish whether it is foam tableware. Starch turns blue when it meets iodine, so you can tell the authenticity by just putting medical iodine on the lunch box. Tear one side of the two real and fake biodegradable lunch boxes, apply an appropriate amount of iodine liquid to the broken ones, and place them in a natural environment. After 10-30 minutes, the 30% starch-containing degradable lunch box will be damaged. The colour gradually changes from orange-yellow to dark blue without fading. The counterfeit goods made of pure plastic will still appear white. The whiter the lunch box looks and the smoother the texture, the more likely it is to be a fake biodegradable lunch box.
The counterfeit environmentally friendly plastic lunch box is soft to the touch, and it breaks when it is gently torn, and it will be pungent and choking when it is heated, and it will easily leak when heated. Counterfeit paper pulp lunch boxes have poor strength, dark colours, and serious oil and water seepage. There is no factory name, trademark, and production date on the packaging boxes and lunch boxes. The counterfeit lunch box is heavier than the qualified product, and it is easy to sink when it is shredded and placed in the water. The qualified product has a specific gravity of less than 1, and will not sink. Products that are too cheap.
Transparent plastic tableware materials mainly include polypropylene PP, polystyrene PS and high-density polyethylene HDPE. From the perspective of cost and safety, PS is cheaper and PS decomposition will produce toxic substances, PP is more expensive but safe. In terms of strength, PS is brittle, HDPE is soft, and PP has very good toughness. So if you get disposable plastic tableware, you can try to break the lunch box. If it is very flexible and difficult to break easily, it proves that this is healthy disposable tableware. If it is very crisp, then this is not good disposable plastic tableware.
It can also be easily distinguished from the transparent appearance. If the product used is transparent and translucent, you can use it with confidence, because it is basically made of polypropylene raw materials and polyethylene raw materials at one time, without any additives and additives added in the process. If you find that your lunch box is of other colours, especially milky white during use, please don't use it, because the colour masterbatch material or toner is added during the processing process, and a large amount of milky white filler masterbatch is added to reduce the cost.
Maximum temperature resistance of different materials:
PETE or PET: 60～85 °C
HDPE or PEHD: heat resistance 90～110 °C
PVC: Heat resistance 60～80 °C
LDPE or PELD: heat resistance 70～90 °C
The above plastic types are generally suitable for making cling film, plastic bags and other products, but generally not used for food. And it is not recommended to reuse after washing. Usually, when buying food or takeaway, pay attention to the number of the logo code on the package to prevent businesses from deceiving consumers with unhealthy products.
Some take-out boxes can be heated, but be aware that their lids may not be able to withstand high temperatures. This is often seen in convenience stores with lids for lunch boxes to heat food.
[Takeaway box with a cover made of PS material]
PP tableware: heat-resistant to 100～140 °C
PS tableware: heat resistance 70～90 °C
（Other plastics）PLA tableware: heat-resistant 50°C，CPLA tableware: heat-resistant 120 °C
Bagasse tableware: heat-resistant 120 ℃
PP, PS, CPLA, bagasse tableware are all disposable containers for healthy and heatable food. PS containers are not acid-resistant, so acidic beverages are not recommended. And all lunch box containers are not recommended to exceed the maximum recommended temperature. CPLA is a crystalline PLA with higher strength and can withstand higher temperatures. It is a very good choice for disposable cutlery.
For fast food takeaways such as hot dog hamburgers, you can choose bagasse tableware and PP tableware, which can be heated in a microwave oven. Bagasse tableware is not recommended to hold food with soup for a long time. Bagasse tableware has a higher shaping ability than paper tableware, and lunch boxes and packing boxes can be equipped with compartment , which is more advantageous in terms of take-out.
If it is suitable for beverages to choose paper cups, generally the heat-resistant temperature can reach 100 ℃, and is healthy and non-toxic. The cup body can be printed with patterns and logos, and the appearance is of high grade and can achieve the purpose of promoting the brand.
Many concepts related to biodegradable plastics are confusing. For example, "bioplastics", Used to collectively refer to bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics. Bio-based plastics refer to plastics that use renewable resources (plants or plant derivatives) as raw materials in whole or in part. The use of bio-based raw materials does not mean that this plastic is biodegradable at the end. In fact, nearly half of the bioplastics produced in the world are not biodegradable. These concepts have existed for more than 10 years, but for most consumers, when they hear "plant-based raw materials", they will feel that this material is biodegradable. Many companies and manufacturers mislead consumers with the names "degradable" and "biodegradable", but do not provide specific degradation time and standards. Because all substances are degradable, even if its degradation aging may be one hundred years. For example, the degradation time of PE plastic under natural conditions is about 40 years. The concept we usually think of, biodegradation should be to completely degrade plastics in a short period of time. Therefore, "compostable products" is a clear standard, which must first obtain the internationally recognized compostable certification, which has market norms. And explain the conditions of composting time and other factors. Therefore, when choosing environmentally friendly tableware, you should choose compostable disposable tableware.
Compostable tableware does not mean that you can throw away the tableware at will after you use it. The tableware will degrade in a short time. Compostable tableware requires special treatment to compost and degrade into non-toxic and harmless substances. Some people may wonder, whether compostable tableware can be discarded at will or needs to be disposed of before it can be degraded, so what is its advantage?
The difference between compostable tableware and PE plastic tableware is that some fake and inferior plastic tableware is added with some starch and other substances, making it "degradable tableware", which is actually broken down into invisible pieces in water or soil in a short time. . In fact, these plastics are only scattered in the form of small fragments, and are not transformed into non-toxic and harmless substances. Instead, they enter our water and food in an invisible size and eventually enter the human body, affecting our health. . The standard of compostable tableware guarantees its healthy properties from the material substance.
Therefore, even if there are always people who say that compostable tableware cannot be directly degraded naturally under normal conditions to question compostable tableware, the degradation time cannot conceal the environmental friendliness of compostable tableware. And no toxic substances will be separate out of hot food or heating. Even if it is randomly discarded maliciously, it will eventually be degraded into harmless substances.
Therefore, after understanding the heat-resistant temperature characteristics of disposable tableware materials, we should know how to choose household disposable tableware and identify those takeaway packaging materials. In addition to the packaging of staple foods, such as cutlery and straws. You need to pay attention to it, not only considering the applicability of use but also considering safety factors. For example, if there are children in the house, be aware that the brightly coloured straws may not be suitable for children to touch, and they also like to bite the straws.
Composting includes two main forms: industrial composting and household (community) composting. The main difference between the two is the scale of composting.
Conditional controllability and composting temperature have led to differences in the active flora in industrial composting and household composting, which determines the types of waste that can be digested by the two methods. The temperature of industrial compost is maintained at 50-65℃, and the temperature of household compost is generally lower than 45℃. Industrial compostable degradable plastics cannot be guaranteed to be degraded in household composting.
[Distribution of global production of bio-based plastics]
China's express delivery and takeaway industries are very developed, and environmentally friendly tableware has developed rapidly in recent years. Since 2020, China has promulgated the most stringent "Ban Plastic Bags", paper-based materials and biodegradable plastics will become industry hotspots. Due to the shortcomings of starch-based plastics, the Chinese market focuses on the new PLA technology. Enterprises are optimistic about the demand for environmentally friendly disposable tableware under the "Ban Plastic Bags" and carry out new construction and expansion of corresponding projects. China's PLA capacity expansion has accelerated. As of the end of June 2020, according to incomplete statistics, there are at least 1.28 million tons of PLA projects under construction or proposed in China. China has become a major exporter of disposable tableware.
And the overall profit margin of China's plastic products industry is low. In 2019, the profit margin of plastic packaging boxes and containers nationwide was only 6%. Since the manufacturing cost is an order of magnitude lower in Asia, this allows you to buy high-quality disposable environmentally friendly tableware at a very low price. If you decide to buy goods directly from China at factory prices, you can greatly improve your business competitiveness.
The existence of environmentally friendly tableware suppliers is nothing more than two forms. One is to search on an independent website, where you can search and find through google and business directory platforms. There are also manufacturers who register and operate on the B2B platform. For example, Made in China, Alibaba, and Global Sources are the world's leading B2B platforms.
But not all Chinese manufacturers will register information on these platforms. But this can be used as a supporting platform. google direct search for the product you want will result in a result page. Generally, the top site has a higher website weight or a longer domain name page. Relatively speaking, the website is better, but it does not mean that the lower-ranked website is not good, or the top-ranking must be very good. Some people are also likely to achieve their goal through technical means. The choice of potential customers is not to send an inquiry immediately after searching. We can also do further verification.
If you are a terminal buyer, you can choose retail platforms such as AliExpress and Amazon. If you need b2b service, you can choose Alibaba.com, Made-in-China.com, Global Sources are all global supplier catalogue platforms with a large number of users. Products and services in almost all industries are covered. Generally, there is a minimum order quantity, and you need to buy in bulk. And the relevant information about the manufacturer can be viewed for reference. For example, for a manufacturer in Alibaba, you should pay attention to his sales history, buyer comments, and how long the entire company has been selling on the platform. We believe that buyers who spend more time on a platform are more trustworthy. Alibaba provides buyers with a label like a gold supplier. Of course, this may not be completely trustworthy, but it can be used as one of the reference factors. What is Alibaba Gold Membership and whether Alibaba Gold Membership is trustworthy? there are many discussions on the Internet, so I won’t repeat them here.
For independent sites, you can view its related information. For companies that have independent sites and are registered and operated on a larger B2B platform, with a business life of more than two years, we think this is more true and reliable. And you can ask them to send you samples to verify the quality of the products. And normal manufacturers welcome customers to visit them. If you are just willing to talk to you on the phone and pay the money before delivery, this may not be trustworthy. If necessary, you can go directly to their factory for a tour, which is the most direct way.
Of course, it may cost a lot of money to visit the factory, and we can check and verify it online before confirming. Our suggestion here is to conduct testing through authoritative websites in China. Whether the company is actually registered can be verified through China's official National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System. Verify the company’s effective business date and business scope. When you search, be careful not to mistake the manufacturer's correct Chinese name. Search results can be online Chinese translation, for example, Baidu Translator supports image recognition and translation text. Enterprise credit website search supports searching by enterprise name, unified social credit code or registration number. Generally, input and click search will display man-machine verification, drag the slider to a suitable position, and the result page will appear after verification is successful. If there is no list or showing "0 messages found", it means that the name you searched does not correspond to the registered company. At this time you need to pay attention to check whether the text you entered is correct. If the result appears, it will show the company's continued existence status, date of establishment, and relevant information such as listing information on the abnormal business directory.
After confirming that the supplier’s information is reliable, you should look for products that suit you, and send and request samples of the products you are interested in by email. And clearly state your needs in the email, otherwise the staff will not be able to guess what you need, and back and forth email explanations may waste a lot of time.
Be clear about the quantity and type of your order, because the quotation will vary with the quantity of the product. If your demand is small, you should ask to clear their MOQ. If the MOQ is lower than the MOQ, the factory will not ship the goods. Check the product tariffs in advance, which is related to the final transaction amount.
For the payment method and shipping method, you can communicate with the factory to choose the most suitable and economical plan. If it is a large order, and you are not assured of payment and receipt, you can find a third-party guarantee agency and inspection agency. Be sure to pay attention to the correctness of your email information in the final payment step. Avoid online scammers pretending to be a communicating seller and sending the final payment account to confuse you and achieve the purpose of defrauding money. Make sure to maintain direct communication with the seller. If there are language barriers, especially minority language, try to use English as much as possible to improve the accuracy of the content.