Pernod Ricard and Diageo ban plastic straws and stirrersBy Nicola Carruthers
Two of the world’s leading drinks groups have upped their eco credentials by removing non-biodegradable straws and stirrers across their businesses.
French drinks group Pernod Ricard has asked all its affiliates globally to stop using non-biodegradable straws and stirrers at any company events in the future.
UK drinks giant Diageo also confirmed a new policy in relation to the use and promotion of plastic straws and plastic drink stirrers across its business and brands last month.
A straw which is only used on average for 20 minutes can take more than 200 years to breakdown into smaller pieces and often does not fully disintegrate.
“Diageo is committed to minimising our environmental impact and we are, like many of our consumers, increasingly concerned about the negative environmental impact associated with the irresponsible disposal of plastic straws,” said David Croft, Diageo’s global sustainable development director.
“We are therefore committed to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from all our offices, events, promotions, advertising and marketing globally – and will advocate the same to our partners and customers. When the use of straws is important to the enjoyment of our brands we will only use reusable, compostable or biodegradable alternatives.”
Vanessa Wright, recently appointed group vice president, sustainability & responsibility at Pernod Ricard, said: “The history of Pernod Ricard and our values are intrinsically linked to social responsibility and care – it is a part of us, and the creation of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute more than 50 years ago is a concrete example.
“We know that this type of non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and for us it’s crucial that we play our role in helping to prevent any further damage.”
Pernod Ricard’s 2020 Roadmap initiative also focuses on reducing waste to landfills with a goal of reducing 913 tonnes to 0 by 2020.
The group’s initiative follows a number of drinks firms who have already moved to tackle plastic straw use.
In September last year, British pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced its decision to stop using plastic straws across its 900 pubs. Also in 2017, a new campaign, called Straw Wars, was launched to eradicate plastic drinking straws across London.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Bacardi removed straws and stirrers from cocktails served at its company events.