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China

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The coming of 2021 in China meant not only bidding farewell to 2020 but also 200 million metric tonnes of plastic straw pollution.

The ban was announced as part of the new Five-Year Plan, which seeks to reduce plastic pollution and move towards integrating biodegradable alternatives.

It begins with two items - plastic straws and single-use shopping bags - with other single-use plastics expected to follow.

This is a momentous stride in environmentalism, as China becomes one of fewer than 10 nations to place a total ban on plastic straws.

This means that the country’s much-loved bubble tea will be served with paper and polylactic acid compound straws. Previously, the drink was consumed through particularly large and thick plastic straws to allow for the tapioca bubbles to be slurped up.

Supermarkets like Careful and RT-Mart are also switching things up, offering biodegradable bags, rentable baskets, and selling reusable bags, as single-use bags are banned, too.

Although the prices of biodegradable options are currently higher than plastic, the ban has seen the market share for bio-plastics surge to an expected $7.3 billion in 2025, then doubling by 2030, so it won’t be long before the costs simmer down with more entrepreneurs entering the market with new