Pret a Manger and Wagamama have officially announced that they will put an end to automatically providing plastic straws. Customers will be given a paper alternative unless requested otherwise. This decision comes after Theresa May said that plastic waste is like plague for our environment.
The trade organisation Plastic Europe declared that UK uses 3.7 million tonnes of plastic a year, while a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting estimates that EU countries use 36.4 billion straws each year.
Speaking for the restaurant chain Wagamama, its Chief Executive Jane Holbrook said that they are always looking for ways to improve and reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste. The company’s policy about the plastic straws will come into force on the 22nd of April, which is also known as the Earth Day.
Pret a Manger has more than 300 stores in the UK and starting with next week it will start to make available paper straws in some of its stores.
“This is a significant step in the right direction, but we need far bigger strides from government, industry and retailers to properly tackle the scourge of plastic waste,” said Julian Kirby, waste campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
Starting with last year more and more businesses have proclaimed their support for the environment with different decisions. The pub chain JD Wetherspoon said they will provide paper straws instead of the plastic ones in its bars and McDonald’s has recently announced that by 2025 all of its packaging will come from sustainable sources.
Supermarkets are also working towards these changes with Iceland eliminating plastic package on its own-label products by 2023, Tesco aiming to make all its packaging recyclable, and Sainsbury’s decision to halve the amount of packaging it uses by 2020.