Since at least January 2020, businesses in China have known that the days of single-use plastic straws were numbered. This month marks the first phase of an ambitious push by the government to drastically reduce plastic waste by 2025. In addition to plastic straws, which have been most heavily used by the milk-tea shops popular in China, stores are taking steps to phase out cheap disposable plastic shopping bags. Replacements include reusable or recyclable bags, as well as ones made from more costly but much more sustainable degradable plastic. Consumers are now also seeing straws made from such degradable plastic, or from paper. This change will reduce plastic waste by 200 tons per year for China's Starbucks establishments alone. Some other shops have taken to offering beverages with the simplest solution of all: no straw.

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