Beverage companies Pernod Ricard and Diageo have both announced plans to eliminate the use of plastic straws and stirrers.
Pernod Ricard will stop using non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers in any part of its business and it has asked all its affiliates globally to ensure they are not used at any Pernod Ricard events in the future.
The French company said that following the rebirth of cocktails there has been an explosion in plastic straw usage globally. A straw which is only used on average for 20 minutes can take more than 200 years to breakdown into smaller pieces and often does not fully disintegrate.
Pernod Ricard vice president of sustainability and responsibility Vanessa Wright said: “The history of Pernod Ricard and our values are intrinsically linked to social responsibility and care – it is a part of us, and the creation of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute more than 50 years is a concrete example.
“We know that this type of non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and for us it’s crucial that we play our role in helping to prevent any further damage.”
Diageo said its commitment to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers marks the next progressive step in reducing the company’s environmental impact.
For over a decade, the British company said it has been committed to making packaging more sustainable – principally through increasing recycled content, reducing the weight and increasing recyclability of all product packaging.
Diageo global sustainable development director David Croft said: “Diageo is committed to minimising our environmental impact and we are, like many of our consumers, increasingly concerned about the negative environmental impact associated with the irresponsible disposal of plastic straws.
“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. When the use of straws is important to the enjoyment of our brands we will only use reusable, compostable or biodegradable alternatives.”
Efforts have been made to reduce the use and environmental impact of plastic straws. Last year, UK disposables manufacturer Herald Plastic unveiled a range of edible straws which consumers can eat – rather than discard – after use.
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