“In Europe, Middle East & Africa alone, the commitment will remove more than five million plastic straws and 20 million plastic water bottles annually. Laid end to end, the straws saved each year in the region would exceed the length of the River Seine." - Hilton.
Plastic straws – the small symbol of our big global plastics problem.
It seems there’s a new story every day about a brand stopping using them. So, we decided to try and keep track of all the companies that have banned them. It’s not a complete list, so if your company should be on there, let us know. For the bio-based industry, what is particularly interesting about this trend is the opportunity to fill the gap, and make straws out of different (bio-based) materials. To give one example, in the UK, Transcend Packaging, have opened a dedicated paper straw production line. No paper straws had previously been made in the UK for decades. Other materials that our list are switching too include bamboo, metal and glass.
So who is on our list? And who have we missed?
Our non-exhaustive list of all the companies, in particular order, that have already or have confirmed their plans to ban plastic straws.
- Starbucks - phase out single-use straws from its more than 28,000 locations, cutting out an estimated 1 billlion straws each year.
- McDonald’s – will replace plastic straws with paper ones in all its UK and Ireland restaurants, starting from September 2018. The global picture is however more mixed. Testing alternatives in the USA.
- Pizza Express – replacing plastic straws with biodegradable ones by summer 2018.
- Wagamama – replaced plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives on earth day.
- Hyatt – plastic straws only at use upon request from 1st December.
- American Airlines – no plastic straws/stir sticks in lounges and onboard flights as of July 2018 “We’re cognizant of our impact on the environment and we remain committed to doing our part to sustain the planet for future generations of travelers,”- Jill Surdek, vice president of flight service.
- Alaska Airlines – flights will replace the straws, stirrers and toothpicks with sustainable, marine-friendly options, including white birch and bamboo. The carrier is working with Seattle-based non-profit Lonely Whale to support the switchover.
- Bon Appetit – food company across 1,000 restaurants in 33 US states banned by September 2018.
- Seaworld Entertainment – single use plastic straws removed from all 12 theme parks. "We see the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the animals we rescue and rehabilitate, and therefore, recognize the importance of doing our part to curb plastic pollution." - John Reilly, interim chief executive officer for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
- Royal Caribbean – signs posted at bars around many ships indicate that when a guest orders a drink, they will not receive a straw automatically. Guests may receive a straw upon request from any server.
- Bacardi – one of the early influences banning plastic straws and stirrers at company cocktail events. “Plastic straws don’t biodegrade, and their use is ubiquitous across many industries including the spirits market. We are resolved to be part of the solution, and this includes reducing the amount of waste we produce,” says Ian McLaren, Director of Trade Advocacy for Bacardi.
- Diageo – in December 2017 they confirmed a new policy in relation to the use and promotion of plastic straws and plastic drink stirrers by their business and brands. "We are therefore committed to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from all our offices, events, promotions, advertising and marketing globally – and will advocate the same to our partners and customers." - David Croft, Global Sustainable Development Director, Diageo.
- Four Seasons - pledge to ban plastic straws in April 2018.
Want to be added to the list? E-mail Editor@BioBasedWorldNews.com with 'Final Straw' in the subject line.
- AccorHotels Group - set a deadline of June 1 for its outlets to be plastic-straw free.
- Carnival Cruises – As of April 2018, the company will no longer automatically serve a plastic straw when a drink is ordered on all of their 26 cruise ships.
- Hurtigruten - aim to become the worlds first plastic free shipping company
- Peregrine Adventures – have banned unnecessary single-use plastics (straws, cups, etc.) on all their exclusive charter adventure cruises.
- Coral Expeditions - company has now banned plastic straws on-board their fleet of reef tour boats.
- Wilderness Safaris – Wilderness Safaris Botswana has also banned the use of plastic straws in all camps, made use of biodegradable corn starch plastics where viable, and reduced the use of plastic in lunch packs.
- Hilton – will remove plastic straws from its 650 managed properties by the end of 2018. “As a leading global hospitality company, we have a huge responsibility to act as stewards of our natural resources and support the communities in which we operate” - Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President, EMEA, Hilton.
- All Bar One (UK bar chain)- #strawssuck/mid-2017 replaced plastic straws with paper ones
- JD Wetherspoon (UK pub chain) – stopped using plastic straws at beginning of 2018/previously using 70 million plastic straws a year/now biodegradable
- Costa Coffee – will remove plastic drinking straws from its stores this year and replace them with a more environmentally friendly alternative
- Pret A Manger –plans to convert to 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable plastic, eliminate all “unnecessary” single-use plastic, and help its customers recycle in shops. Plastic straws still available on requite, plans to have all three steps complete by 2025.
- Waitrose supermarket – removing plastic straws from shelves September and reducing plastic wherever possible e.g black plastic food trays which are hard to recycle
- Iceland supermarket – aim to be plastic-free by 2023 and already removed plastic straws from own brand label
- Morrisons supermarket – phasing out straws in its cafes.
- Marriott International – 60+ Marriott hotels removing plastic straws from circulation with immediate effect – customers requesting a straw will be given biodegradable/paper alternative
- London City Airport – removed all plastic straws from its food and drink outlets
- Eurostar – stated aim of reducing the use of plastics on-board Eurostar trains by 50% by 2020. The first in the series of initiatives to cut plastics use, is the elimination of plastic straws onboard Eurostar trains and in its business lounge
- Natural History Museum (London) – halted sales of single use plastic bottles as well (March 2017)
- Scotch Whisky Association – January 2018 – phasing out the use of plastic straws – biodegradable alternatives
- The Deltic Group – Using a #nostrawsattached campaign replacement straws are made from PLA, a plant-based plastic that biodegrades in six months and contains 67% less embodied carbon than oil-based PP plastic. The new PLA straws will be disposed of in allocated food waste bins which were rolled out across the estate in late March
- Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas – All Six Senses Resorts have banned plastic straws in 2016 and offer instead natural alternatives such as lemon grass or bamboo straws.
- Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris - banned plastic straws.
- Experimental Group – Has rolled out of new eco-friendly, biodegradable straws across their establishments in London, New York, Paris and Ibiza. – PLA alternative
- Anantara/AVANI Hotels – As of 1st January 2018 only using bamboo straws.
- Inspiring Travel Co – rolling out paper straws by October 2018 “The initiatives we have implemented will ensure elimination of the use of plastic material at ITC Hotels by approximately 24 tons per year,” - Dipak Haksar, CEO
- Intelligentsia Coffee - all stores stopped providing plastic straws on July 15th - customers have the option to ask for a compostable straw or buy a reusable metal straw in-store.
Want to be added to the list? E-mail Editor@BioBasedWorldNews.com with 'Final Straw' in the subject line'.
Primary research - Tom Joslin, Bio-Based World News
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Download: Bio-Based World Quarterly issue #10.