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Single-Use Plastics: The Final Straw

Paper straws

Across the globe, establishments big and small, sole traders and mass-conglomerates, are questioning their use of plastic straws. However, for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes, straws are a common request for numerous reasons - such as helping to protect a person’s teeth from sugary drinks - as well as being easier to drink out of in crowded rooms.

Removing plastic straws as part of any business’s offering isn’t easy. Owners may have to change suppliers and bar staff may be met with fury by inconvenienced patrons. To combat this, we’re outlining the benefits and solutions to ditching plastic and helping your business take a significant step towards becoming a more Earth-friendly enterprise.

Plastic straws are destructive

Providing single-use plastic straws to patrons has a number of damaging effects and, potentially, grave consequences. So much so, in fact, that the UK government has plans to ban single-use plastic straws outright.

Their reasoning? Plastic straws contribute to pollution in a big way. It’s estimated that, in the UK alone, 8.5 million straws are used and disposed of each year. Of these straws, many will find their way into the oceans and contribute to the 150 million tons of plastic currently polluting the seas. Sea pollution is not only unsightly, but also, more importantly, causes catastrophic damage to the ecosystem.

Once there, the straws pierce and lodge into marine life or are accidentally consumed, causing poisoning and fatalities. It’s estimated that, if we continue with our current wasteful habits, there’ll be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. Additionally, the production process of plastic straws also pollutes the planet more than alternatives, too.

Establishments who still choose to use plastic straws in their drinks, despite widespread knowledge of the negative effects, risk being labelled archaic and uncaring by discerning, environmentally conscious customers. Even fast-food giants not as often concerned with environmental issues, such as McDonald’s, are phasing out plastic straws in their restaurants.

 

There are plenty of alternatives

For businesses wishing to remove or replace plastic straws, there are a few important considerations to be made prior to making the transition - for example, choosing between paper straws or edible straws. Straws of this nature fall into the eco straws category, due to them being less harmful to the environment, both during the production process and after they’ve been used.

Opting to use paper drinking straws instead is an affordable solution which can easily be disposed of or recycled - greatly reducing the damage inflicted upon the planet. Some customers may be wary of the prospect of using paper straws, but owners and staff can reassure their patrons that paper drinking straws were used prior to plastic straws in the 1940s and work just as well.

Edible straws are a fun and inventive way for visitors to drink their refreshments which will also trigger discussion between patrons and their customers, and potentially attract more people to the idea of sustainable living. Other alternatives include metal straws (which are safe to wash and reusable), pasta straws (which can also be made into a gluten-free alternative), and even bamboo straws!

All of these alternatives are just as practical as plastic straws but are much less harmful to the environment.

 

You’ll win over eco-minded consumers

Millennials are more environmentally-minded than their Generation X predecessors, which means they’re more likely to be attracted to retailers who operate using sustainable practices and products which are ethically sourced or made. Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are also very vocal about the things they like and dislike.

When taking to social media and customer review sites such as Yelp, Millennials tend to be extremely honest - both in their praise and criticism of a business. This means businesses that are seen as doing ‘the right things’ will be held in high regard by these consumers - who’ll feel compelled to share their positive experience with their friends and followers.

Businesses that fail to adapt and stay ahead of the pack by dragging their feet when it comes to protecting the planet are likely to fall behind and out of favour with eco-conscious customers. By making the transition from plastic straws to eco straws, companies can take advantage of the welcome PR benefits, all the while reducing their carbon footprint.


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Single-Use Plastics: The Final Straw

Paper straws

Across the globe, establishments big and small, sole traders and mass-conglomerates, are questioning their use of plastic straws. However, for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes, straws are a common request for numerous reasons - such as helping to protect a person’s teeth from sugary drinks - as well as being easier to drink out of in crowded rooms.

Removing plastic straws as part of any business’s offering isn’t easy. Owners may have to change suppliers and bar staff may be met with fury by inconvenienced patrons. To combat this, we’re outlining the benefits and solutions to ditching plastic and helping your business take a significant step towards becoming a more Earth-friendly enterprise.

Plastic straws are destructive

Providing single-use plastic straws to patrons has a number of damaging effects and, potentially, grave consequences. So much so, in fact, that the UK government has plans to ban single-use plastic straws outright.

Their reasoning? Plastic straws contribute to pollution in a big way. It’s estimated that, in the UK alone, 8.5 million straws are used and disposed of each year. Of these straws, many will find their way into the oceans and contribute to the 150 million tons of plastic currently polluting the seas. Sea pollution is not only unsightly, but also, more importantly, causes catastrophic damage to the ecosystem.

Once there, the straws pierce and lodge into marine life or are accidentally consumed, causing poisoning and fatalities. It’s estimated that, if we continue with our current wasteful habits, there’ll be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. Additionally, the production process of plastic straws also pollutes the planet more than alternatives, too.

Establishments who still choose to use plastic straws in their drinks, despite widespread knowledge of the negative effects, risk being labelled archaic and uncaring by discerning, environmentally conscious customers. Even fast-food giants not as often concerned with environmental issues, such as McDonald’s, are phasing out plastic straws in their restaurants.

 

There are plenty of alternatives

For businesses wishing to remove or replace plastic straws, there are a few important considerations to be made prior to making the transition - for example, choosing between paper straws or edible straws. Straws of this nature fall into the eco straws category, due to them being less harmful to the environment, both during the production process and after they’ve been used.

Opting to use paper drinking straws instead is an affordable solution which can easily be disposed of or recycled - greatly reducing the damage inflicted upon the planet. Some customers may be wary of the prospect of using paper straws, but owners and staff can reassure their patrons that paper drinking straws were used prior to plastic straws in the 1940s and work just as well.

Edible straws are a fun and inventive way for visitors to drink their refreshments which will also trigger discussion between patrons and their customers, and potentially attract more people to the idea of sustainable living. Other alternatives include metal straws (which are safe to wash and reusable), pasta straws (which can also be made into a gluten-free alternative), and even bamboo straws!

All of these alternatives are just as practical as plastic straws but are much less harmful to the environment.

 

You’ll win over eco-minded consumers

Millennials are more environmentally-minded than their Generation X predecessors, which means they’re more likely to be attracted to retailers who operate using sustainable practices and products which are ethically sourced or made. Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are also very vocal about the things they like and dislike.

When taking to social media and customer review sites such as Yelp, Millennials tend to be extremely honest - both in their praise and criticism of a business. This means businesses that are seen as doing ‘the right things’ will be held in high regard by these consumers - who’ll feel compelled to share their positive experience with their friends and followers.

Businesses that fail to adapt and stay ahead of the pack by dragging their feet when it comes to protecting the planet are likely to fall behind and out of favour with eco-conscious customers. By making the transition from plastic straws to eco straws, companies can take advantage of the welcome PR benefits, all the while reducing their carbon footprint.


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