SINGAPORE — By July 1, over 270 food and beverage (F&B) outlets in Singapore will remove straws completely from their premises or provide them only on request.
These include cafes and eateries such as Nando’s Singapore, Pastamania, A Poke Theory and Bettr Barista as well as those run by Spa Esprit Group which include Tiong Bahru Bakery and Open Farm Community.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore and the Accor Group — which operates Raffles, Swissotel, Fairmont, Sofitel, Novotel and other hotel brands — have also come on board the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) initiative, which is part of the group’s PACT (Plastic ACTion) business coalition and supported by the National Environment Agency and Zero Waste SG.
In a press release issued on Monday (June 3), WWF reiterated that industry-wide efforts by businesses can “contribute to reducing the excessive use of plastics”.
A recent survey found that 62 per cent of people in Singapore use plastic straws only because they come with a purchased drink, it added.
On the latest initiative, WWF-Singapore spokesman Kim Stengert said: “This is a great example of voluntary action by businesses, and while we work with the group on next steps, we encourage more brands to join the effort.”
Businesses that have come on board the “no straw” policy told TODAY that they are doing more.
For example, Vietnamese food chain, Nam Nam, said it is switching out table side plastic sauce bottles to glass bottles, while Tadcaster Hospitality which runs cafes and eateries such as Cafe Melba, is changing takeaway packaging to compostable materials and providing discounts for customers who bring their own reusable ware.
Ms Katherine Braha, owner and director of SaladStop!, said she is planning to open a “plastic free” outlet by the end of the year, where there will be no plastic cutlery, and “to-go” drinks, yoghurt and smoothies will be packaged in plant-based plastics.
WWF noted that the potential impact of ocean plastic pollution on human health, economies and livelihoods, the use of fossil fuels in the plastics industry and limited space in the Semakau Landfill is driving the urgent call to reduce plastic waste and establish a circular economy for the material.
A YouGov survey commissioned by WWF showed that 9 out of 10 people recognise the environmental problems caused by disposable plastic.
Those surveyed also flagged the F&B (76 per cent) and food retail (71 per cent) sectors as the biggest sources of disposable plastic in Singapore.
Zero Waste SG manager Pek Hai Lin said that support in Singapore to reduce unnecessary plastics has “grown in tandem with awareness about the environmental impact of plastic disposables”. “With more people now opting to bring their own reusable containers, bags or straws, we hope to see the movement encourage businesses to reduce other single-use plastic disposables too,” she added.
Earlier this year, WWF launched PACT — a business coalition that has since grown to 15 companies committed to large-scale industry collaboration and ambitious measures for a circular economy on plastics. Under this movement, companies will start with the removal of unnecessary plastics, while reviewing product design, switching to sustainable alternatives or contributing to end-use markets.
Article source: TODAY