Biodegradable Paper Cups, Product’s Safety, and Climatic Change: Is It Safe to Import from China?

Biodegradable Paper CupsWhat’s the problem with buying Chinese made products, especially biodegradable paper cups? Report after report shows there are serious flaws and gaps in Chinese products. Even amidst Coronavirus pandemic, several European countries rejected “Made in China” equipment designed to tackle the virus.


Spain, Netherlands, and Turkey reported thousands of defective face masks and testing kits. As a result, the Dutch health ministry had to recall over 600,000 face masks. Most of the face masks were substandard despite having quality certificates.


Spain’s government faced similar problems with the testing kits. Over 60,000 of the test kits imported from China couldn’t show whether a patient has a virus.


This is one scenario that has caused curiosity and plenty of doubt in Chinese products. No matter the industry, issues of wanting quality and crooked manufacturers continue to dog the Chinese imports.


Series of Questions Raised Over Safety Standards

Faulty face masks and testing aren’t the first cases of hazardous Chinese products. Chinese products have a history of appalling standards.In 2019, major Chinese food companies recalled food products contaminated with African Swine Flu fever.


One frozen food company, Fujian Anjoy had some of its meatballs contaminated with the virus. Meanwhile, the Sanquan Food Company reported positive virus cases in its dumplings samples.


According to Euromonitor International, pig consumption declined by 0.5% after the reported cases of food contamination. Most consumers now fear their security. Meanwhile, Beijing had to set stringent rules to control slaughterhouses.


With all these safety compromises, it’s challenging to trust Chinese products. And with sensitive products such as coffee cups, lofty safety standards are vital. No wonder we insist on using domestic biodegradable paper cups.


Extreme Air Pollution Rates Not Good for Manufacturing


China already faces extreme pollution levels because of the vast manufacturing industry. According to WHO, over1 million people die from polluted air every year in China. Meaning, manufacturing in this over-polluted nation may be a risk against human health.


For many years China has been struggling to improve its air quality. In 2008, with heavy environmental regulations, the country somehow reduced air pollution by 30%. But the heavy reliance on manufacturing and an enormous population continued to strain the nation.


After identifying sources of toxic rains and shutting down heavy polluting companies, China noted some measures were not sustainable. The costs of reducing production, shutting down companies and moving factories from populated areas remain too high.


Instead, China opted to invest in clean energy and reduce coal exploration. In 2016, she had grown into a green energy global leader. But coal still dominated the nation’s energy landscape. Then, fossil fuels and gas contributed to over 60% of China’s energy requirements.


China is now a Top Emitter of Green House Gases


Recent climate change developments also warn us against buying Made in China products. Besides contamination and pollution concerns, China currently leads the world in greenhouse emissions.


Between 2008 and 2018, the country had tripled greenhouse emissions. The carbon emissions now account for 30% of the world’s total. Half of the entire world’s coal supply comes from China. And coal is the worst of greenhouse emissions.


With such an impact on climatic change, China committed to increase green energy investments. Yet, their energy investment trends contradict their promise to the world. The latest satellite images show China plans to build new coal plants with a capacity equating the entire European Union’s.


Ironically, China’s investment in renewable energy dropped by a staggering 40% in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, authorities slashed renewable energy subsidies living the climatic change fight in limbo.


Today, the nation has retracted on its promise. It also stands as an impediment to reducing carbon emissions. Lauri Myllyvirta, the lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air,Helsinki,says, “Now there’s a perception that instead of being a leader, China is one of the countries that’s out of control “.


What’s worrying, Beijing authorities are now loosening environmental controls, especially for the heavy industries. The move is an attempt to revamp a slowing down economy.


The devolution of coal plants’ regulatory authorities to provinces is also a big concern. Most provincial authorities see coal operations as an indispensable venture for local economies.


Chinese Timber Products are Culprits of Foreign Deforestation


In the UK, we make biodegradable paper cups and paper products from certified wood sources. We are cautious to protect ecosystems and preserve forest cover. Thanks to FSC and PEFC, in the year 2018-2019, the UK created 13,000 hectares of new woodland.


Is this the same case in China? Yes, but NO again. Two decades ago China went on tree planting “rampage” to restore its depleting forest cover. This was a significant step, given it increased forest cover by 46000 square miles within 10 years. Today, China has 22% of its earth under forest cover, which is a 5.5 % growth from the 1990s.


Next, China banned most commercial logging activities to preserve its forests. But what raises questions is the fact that China leads in the export of paper products. The latest reports show Chinese paper exports comprise 12.9% of the world’s totals.


As it seems, China looks like a selfish partner when it comes to forest conservation. Yes, they champion domestic reforestation. But they still rank as the world’s largest and most aggressive consumer of timber products. China’s annual timber imports are way above 108.5 million cubic meters and continue to rise.


China’s conservation policy may be useful. But it continues to worsen deforestation in other nations. Their heightened demand is a concern for most South Asian and African countries where logging is prevalent.


Top timber exporters to China include Russia, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Southern Asia nations.


Is it Safe to Import from China? 


At Scyphus, we say, buying domestic is the best way forward to counter Chinese imports. Whether you’re buying biodegradable paper cups or fashion accessories, the reasons are evident. That way, you can be able to track the product’s safety, save forests and counter climatic change.