Innovate Blog
Sustainable Future factsheet explaining restriction on plastic straws and ban on stirrers is updated after Covid-19 delays implementation.

Friday August 21, 2020

As part of its Sustainable Future programme, Bunzl Catering Supplies has this week issued an updated factsheet that explains to hospitality operators the implications of the forthcoming UK legislation that will ban or severely restrict the use of single use plastic straws and stirrers.

In line with the EU SUP Directive and the UK Government Waste and Resource Strategy, The Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020 are due to take affect from October 2020 – delayed from its original implementation date of April 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from the implementation date the regulations remain unchanged with a product ban on all plastic stirrers and a restriction on single use plastic straws, with exemption for medical use. These regulations will include products formed from PLA, a plant-based polymer.

The updated Sustainable Future factsheet advises customers to evaluate how these bans and restrictions will affect their hospitality operation. Bunzl Catering Supplies is 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 Environmental Protection Regulations 2020, 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.

Similarly, wooden stirrers will not be banned under The Environmental Protection Regulations 2020, 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.

“Some UK legislation has been delayed during the Covid-19 crisis, but as hospitality operators reopen, new implementation dates are approaching fast. Our updated Sustainable Future factsheet on straws and stirrers provides the factual and practical information required to help customers plan ahead.” says Katie Bradbury, Sustainability and Packaging Innovation Manager, she continues: “The ability for us to understand and act upon Government initiatives quickly plays a crucial part in how we can help our customers going forward. We are working in partnership with our suppliers and customers to offer product alternatives that are legislatively compliant and for a sustainable future.”

As part of its Sustainable Future programme and in line with its UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Sustainable Future factsheet series 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 Environmental Protection Regulations 2020 directive might affect their catering operation, looking ahead to what sustainable product alternatives are available in the hospitality industry – this factsheet is a must.

The implementation date for The Environmental Protection Regulations 2020 restricting the use of plastic straws and banning plastic stirrers is now only six weeks away. Please view the updated Sustainable Future factsheet here for everything you need to know and essential product alternatives.