The war on plastic has risen a notch with companies now seriously taking on plastic straws. Of course, there are those companies who have switched to either metal or paper straws after recent conversations about the environment, but there is increasing pressure being put on others to change. Today, food giant McDonald’s announced they too would be switching from the conventional plastic straw to the more environmentally friendly paper version. In the UK alone, the company gets through 1.8 million straws a day! To combat this huge waste, McDonald’s will introduce paper straws (from certified sustainable sources) to all it’s UK and Ireland resterants starting from September.
Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, had this to say, “The government’s ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play our part.”
It’s no surprise that the plastic straw has become a target for environmentalists as they are often among the top 10 items found in beach cleans and are frequently seen littering our streets. They also take hundreds of years to decompose, taking longer then wood and paper as plastic does not rot. When they are littered, they often end up harming animals. Each year 1,000,000 seabirds fall victim to plastic and animals such as the sea turtle are in danger as well.
Whilst the numbers on plastic straws is staggering there is much change happening across the UK.
Supermarket chain Waitrose have proposed to remove all plastic straws from their shelves by September 2018 and Iceland have already removed all own label plastic straws with a promise to be ‘plastic free’ with own label products by 2023. Pizza Express were touched to receive a letter from 5 year old Ava asking for them to offer an alternative to plastic straws and have promised to do so, replacing them biodegradable straws by Summer 2018. For coffee shops too, change is on the horizon. Costa and Pret A Manger will both be swapping out plastic straws in 2018. JD Wetherspoons Pubs stopped using plastic straws at the beginning of this year.
Plastic straws are not an issue for us at Doozy, but we have had to tackle similar issues. In 2015, we switched our plastic stirrers for wooden ones. Our biggest challenge now is single use coffee cups. Although they are recyclable, the centres that are able to recycle them are limited with just two across the country. Read our blog to find out more about this challenge.
We’ll leave you with this heart warming video of children in Scotland who are on a mission to get plastic straws banned!