Uh-oh! It looks like we may have to pay more for our drinks if we try to go green by using paper straws.
According to Michael Loh who is a plastic goods wholesaler, coffee shops and hawkers may just not be prepared to provide wax-coated paper straws without any extra charges yet.
This is because the cost of paper straws (ranging from 10 sen to 15 sen each) is comparatively higher than normal plastic straws (3 sen each). Wow, that is a stark difference!
Loh who supplies paper straws from China revealed that only cafes and hotels serving “premium drinks” would purchase paper straws. For instance, Coffee Bean in Malaysia has started giving out paper straws.
Why not just use reusable metal straws, you ask?
Well, Loh mentioned that it isn’t hygienic to use metal straws in food outlets because it may be difficult to clean it thoroughly. Loh was quoted by The Star as saying,
“Without plastic straws, you can expect drink prices to go up, too.”
The owner of Pusat Plastik Guan Seng Heng Sdn Bhd made that statement following the price hike in food by hawkers after the polystyrene ban in Penang.
The Star wrote that, in Loh’s shop, there were millions of plastic straws which were piled up in a stack from the “floor to ceiling” and, by comparison, there were only about 10,000 paper straws in his shop. FYI, Loh has been supplying straws to many entrepreneurs since 1993.
“It won’t be easy to get rid of single use plastics. Plastic packaging and eating utensils are essential to the F&B industry.”
Adding on, Teo Tien Su who runs Jamaica Blue Fine Coffees’ cafe franchise in Malaysia said that searching for a reliable biodegradable straw supplier isn’t an easy feat. The HCK Food COO shared,
“We have to consider the cost of paper straws and the availability of suppliers for our cafes, while also trying not to pass the additional cost to customers.”
Meanwhile, Teo explained that Jamaica Blue still offers plastic straws but they are actively looking for alternatives too. They plan to stop using plastic straws once they find a reliable supplier which offers reasonably priced paper straws. We hope they will find one soon!
What do you think of the price hike that may occur due to expensive wax-coated paper straws? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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