On November 26, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation released recommended national standards called the “Biodegradable drinking straws” (GB/T 41008-2021). These standards will come into effect on June 1, 2022. Here is an overview.
- apply to straws made of biodegradable plastic,
- apply to straws that are not entirely made of biodegradable plastic, if the food contact surfaces are covered or coated with biodegradable plastic or these surfaces are made of biodegradable plastic and otherwise combined with the other components,
- apply to straws mainly made of natural polymeric materials, and
- don’t apply to paper straws.
Provisions for materials
- Materials of biodegradable straws must be biodegradable plastics or natural polymeric materials approved as food contact materials.
- The materials above include, but not limited to, polylactic acid (PLA), polybutylene succinate (PBS), polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs).
- Biodegradable straws must meet the requirements on organic components, biodegradability, etc. set out by the “Degradability and identification requirements of biodegradable plastics and products” (GB/T 41010-2021) standards.
- The water content of straws made of natural polymeric materials must be no more than 10 percent.
Packaging and labeling requirements
- The name, materials, suitable temperature, date of manufacture, etc. of a product must be displayed on its external and internal packaging.
- Biodegradable straw products must have the biodegradability mark on them in accordance with the GB/T 41010-2021 standards.
You can see the name, publication date, effective date and other information on the biodegradable straw standards at the link below (in simplified Chinese; the full text is not available):