Innovate Blog
New Sustainable Future factsheet explains the ban on plastic straws and stirrers and how it will affect operators in the catering and hospitality industry.

Wednesday January 22, 2020

As part of its Sustainable Future programme, Bunzl Catering Supplies has this week issued a new factsheet that explains to customers the implications of the forthcoming EU and UK legislation that will ban or severely restrict the use of single use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.

In line with the EU Single Use Plastics (SUP) directive and the UK Government Waste and Resource strategy, the government is looking to adopt a product ban on stirrers and a restriction on straws and cotton buds with a likely implementation date of April 2020. The incoming ban will affect all single use straws, stirrers and cotton buds made from plastic, including those made from PLA – the plant-based polymer designed to substitute petroleum-based plastics like PET.

The latest Sustainable Future factsheet advises customers to evaluate how these bans and restrictions will affect their catering operation now. Bunzl Catering Supplies is currently working with its customers to embed sustainable product alternatives into their operations in good time.  These product alternatives include paper straws, which not restricted under the EU SUP directive, are a viable alternative to traditional plastic straws. Made from renewable resources and manufactured in the UK, these paper straws will remain unsaturated for up to 2 hours for an enjoyable drinking experience.

Similarly, wooden stirrers will not be banned under the EU Single Use Plastics directive, so they are a viable alternative to plastic stirrers. Made from renewable resources, birch wood stirrers are FSC certified, so a sustainable chain of custody has been maintained from forest to finished product.

“Forthcoming legislation presents businesses with significant challenges but with the factual information in our Sustainable Future factsheets, customers can start to plan ahead.” says  Justin Turquet, Head of Sustainability at Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division, he continues: “The ability for us to understand and act upon Government initiatives plays a crucial part in how we help our customers going forward. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we are working in partnership with our suppliers and customers to develop and implement strategies that build towards a sustainable future.”

As part of its Sustainable Future programme and in line with its UN Sustainable Development Goals, these factsheets form part of Bunzl Catering Supplies’ commitment to providing its customers, and the wider foodservice industry, with fact-based and impartial information on all aspects of sustainability in a complex and rapidly changing foodservice environment.

For customers seeking a clear and simple understanding about how the EU SUP directive might affect their catering operation, looking ahead to what sustainable product alternatives are available in the catering and hospitality industry – this factsheet is a must.

View the new Sustainable Future factsheet on the plastic straw and stirrer ban here.