The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced on Monday (3 June) that over 270 F&B outlets in Singapore will phase out plastic straws by 1 July.
53 F&B outlets owned by hospitality firm Accor Group, 24 Pastamania outlets, dozens of outlets run by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), and 15 eateries under the Spa Espirit Group including Tiong Bahru Bakery and 40 Hands are among the 270 outlets.
Other notable F&B outlets include A Poke Theory, Kraftwich, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Nando’s Singapore, SaladStop, and Jones the Grocer.
Suntec Convention Centre will also not be providing straws at all in-house catering and events.
These F&B outlets will be removing straws completely from their premises, only providing straws on request or for specific medical reasons.
This campaign is part of WWF’s Plastic ACTion (PACT) initiative, which is supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Zero Waste SG.
WWF aims to achieve “No Plastics in Nature” by 2030 through PACT, and participating business pledge to cut out unnecessary plastics either by reviewing product designs or swapping to sustainable alternative materials.
Lotika Mehta, campaigns manager of WWF-Singapore, said this is the “largest industry commitment so far”.
Kim Stengert, Chief of Strategic Communication and External Relations of WWF-Singapore, added, “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”
According to a 2018 report by AlphaBeta, The Final Straw, and the Cyan Project, Singaporeans consume an estimated 2.2 million straws per day.
In the media release, WWF said that straws are a starting point to reduce the overall use of plastics by businesses.
“WWF and Zero Waste SG 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.”
These 270 establishments, which makes up only 3.5% of the 7,500 food establishments in Singapore in 2016 according to Singstat, will join the likes of KFC, Deliveroo, Burger King, and Resorts World Sentosa.
Yakult Singapore also stopped providing straws with its drinks in December 2018 and is looking at alternative materials to replace its plastic components in its packaging.
Elsewhere in the world, Bali banned single-use plastics in December 2018 too; European Union (EU) lawmakers voted to ban single-use plastic items by 2021.
All the Federal Territories in Malaysia are now plastic straw-free areas, as the ban took effect from 1 January this year.
With more and more establishments and organisations seeing the importance of going plastic-free, Singaporeans should consider adopting a greener lifestyle too – and the earlier, the better.
Featured Image Credit: WWF-Singapore Facebook