Over 270 F&B outlets in Singapore to phase out plastic straws

A survey commissioned by WWF showed that 9 out of 10 people recognise the environmental problems caused by disposable plastic.

In a major industry push to reduce the use of plastic disposables, over 270 food and beverage (F&B) outlets in Singapore will phase out plastic straws by 1 July, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

As part of its PACT (Plastic ACTion) initiative, which is supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Zero Waste SG, the F&B outlets will remove straws completely from their premises or provide them only on request.

“This is a tangible first step and a strong signal that they are starting to take responsibility for the plastics that they use. 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,” says Kim Stengert, Chief, Strategic Communication and External Relations, WWF-Singapore.

WWF-Singapore cited a recent survey which found that 62% of people in Singapore use plastic straws only because they come with a purchased drink.

A separate 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%) and food retail (71%) sectors as the biggest sources of disposable plastic in Singapore.

“Local support 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,” Zero Waste SG manager Pek Hai Lin said.

After 1 July, businesses that are part of the commitment will not provide straws to customers unless on request or for specific medical reasons.

WWF and Zero Waste SG say they will continue to work with the F&B industry to reduce unnecessary plastics such as stirrers, cutlery and plastic bottles while working on measures and innovations to tackle the plastic problem. 

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