Coca-Cola Amatil will no longer distribute plastic drinking straws or stirrers in Australia and will instead stock fully recyclable and biodegradable Forest Stewardship Council-accredited paper straws.
The new paper drinking straws will be sourced from suppliers BioPak – an Australian firm which was bought by Duni last year – and Austraw, and made available through Amatil’s ordering platform to around 115,000 outlets in Australia, including grocery, petrol and convenience stores, bars, cafes and quick service restaurants.
Distribution of the old single-use plastic drinking straws and stirrers will cease as stocks run out over the next two months. The new sustainable paper straws will be available from February.
Coca-Cola Amatil said work is continuing on sustainable solutions for straws on Tetra Pak-supplied packaging, as well as for plastic spoons and scoops used with frozen drinks.
Alison Watkins, Amatil managing director, said the decision was another step forward in the company’s efforts to reduce single-use plastics.
“We’re serious about playing our part in reducing unnecessary plastic packaging,” she said. “We’ve heard the community message loud and clear – that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we all need to work together to reduce the amount entering litter streams, the environment and the oceans.”
The company aims for 100% of its packaging in Australia to be fully recyclable by 2025, including all bottles, cans, plastic wrap, straws, glass and cardboard.
“We are working towards phasing out unnecessary and problematic single-use plastics entirely, through improved design, innovation or the use of recycled alternatives,” Watkins said.
By 2020, Coca-Cola Amatil has pledged to use at least 60% renewable or low-carbon energy in its operations.
Last year, the European Union (EU) proposed a ban on plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws and drink stirrers.
The European Commission is planning new EU-wide rules to target the ten single-use plastic products most often found on Europe’s beaches and seas. These products are said to account for 70% of the marine litter in Europe.
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