More than 270 F&B outlets in Singapore will phase out plastic straws by July 1

Photo: Kaizen Nguyễn/Unsplash
Photo: Kaizen Nguyễn/Unsplash

In a bid to minimize plastic disposables, more than 270 F&B outlets in the country have pledged their commitment to do away with plastic straws by July 1 this year. As part of Pact (Plastic Action), a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) campaign supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Zero Waste SG, the businesses will remove these straws from their premises or offer them only when customers make a request (due to medical reasons or otherwise).

Brands on board with the plastic elimination include dining concepts like A Poké Theory, Foreword Coffee, Jones the Grocer, Kraftwich, Nando’s Singapore, Nassim Hill Bakery, Plain Vanilla, Nylon Coffee Roasters, SaladStop!, The Lokal, The Social Space, and The Coffee Academics. Plus, bigwigs such as hotel operator Accor Group and F&B/lifestyle folks The Lo & Behold Group and the Spa Esprit Group.

According to a media release by WWF, a survey conducted last year found 62 percent of residents in Singapore used plastic straws only because they were served with a drink purchase.

Another study, this time a YouGov one commissioned by WWF in 2018, showed that nine out of 10 people acknowledged the environmental issues caused by disposable plastics. Respondents said that the F&B (76 percent) and food retail (71 percent) sectors were the biggest sources of these one-use plastic items.

WWF reported that 80 percent of plastics in the ocean were believed to originate from land sources, and targeting a decrease in plastic use in businesses was essential in addressing the crisis. It revealed that by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight.

Pact, launched earlier this year, aims for “No Plastics in Nature” by 2030. It calls for companies to start by removing unnecessary plastics, followed by reviewing product designs and making the switch to sustainable alternatives.

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