< Back to news 19 April, 2018

The war on plastic: Preparing today, to help save tomorrow

Beacon urges the hospitality industry to act if they are to help the war on plastic “With the government’s bid to ban plastic straws, and the Prime Minister stating that plastic waste is “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world”.

Paul Connelly, Managing Director of Beacon, said “Due to the recent increase in demand for paper and compostable straws, we are supporting our supply base in communicating their efforts in finding innovative alternative plastic offerings now, and show their commitment to this positive change. By focussing on this now we are able to make it easier for our customers to adapt and make the reduction of plastic straws, an integral part of their business strategy, and to avoid potential ‘plastic shaming’ by customers.

“While we strongly encourage businesses to implement alternatives now to reduce Paul Connelly, MD Beaconpressure and costs if the ban comes into place, they must be prepared to invest in this change in the short-term, as alternative products may initially be more expensive. With demand currently outstripping supply, businesses should expect there to be limited price negotiations, as it is currently a sellers’ market. However, as the potential ban on single-use plastic becomes more integrated across business strategies, we predict that supply will catch up with demand, leading to more cost-effective solutions entering the market and supporting environmentally friendly behaviour.

Insight from our supplier, Bunzl Catering Supplies, suggests a variety of different approaches that operators can take advantage of when it comes to offering an alternative to plastic straws:

  • Offer paper straws rather than plastic straws. Paper straws remain unsaturated for up two hours
  • Offer thick, clear straws made from PP, as this will maximise the chance of the straws being recycled if they are disposed of in a mixed recyclables bin, whereas very thin, small or coloured straws will not be identified for recycling
  • Offer compostable straws, often made from PLA. These must be disposed of with food waste in a bin designed for compostable material
  • Introduce controlled-use straw dispensers, to reduce the frequency and quantity of straws being used. This means that a customer can retrieve a straw if they really want one.”

Paul continues: “At Beacon, we will continue working closely with industry leading suppliers to provide solutions to hospitality businesses who are wanting to invest and make changes today, that will help to protect and save tomorrow.”

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