Chivas Regal latest brand to tackle plastic strawsBy Amy Hopkins
Blended Scotch whisky Chivas Regal has launched a new campaign that encourages consumers to stop using plastic straws, at the same time as brand company Chivas Brothers appoints a new head of sustainability and responsibility.
Sandrine Ricard – previously deputy director, sustainability at French drinks company Pernod Ricard – takes on the newly created position.
In her role, Ricard will drive the sustainability and responsibility activities of Chivas Brothers – the Scotch whisky arm of Pernod Ricard – through its portfolio of global brands, including the Glenlivet and Ballantine’s.
She will steer initiatives such as the Responsib’ALL Day, a company-wide day of volunteering; Chivas Spirit of Support, a series of local charitable initiatives; and the company’s bursary scheme for sustainability programmes.
Ricard will also support the launch of the #BarStraws campaign, which “calls on consumers worldwide to harness the power of social media” to reduce plastic straw use across the globe.
Aligned with the Chivas Regal brand, which has pledged to stop using single-use plastic straws in more than 100 countries, the campaign “encourages people to show their support through straw-free ‘selfies’”.
Consumers are being encouraged to take a selfie while seemingly consuming a drink through an ‘invisible straw’, and post to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BarStraws. Chivas Regal has pledged to donate US$1 to the Marine Conservation Society for the first 10,000 posts.
A plastic 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.
“Plastic straws spend a moment on our lips, and then a lifetime in the ocean or in landfill,” said Sandrine Ricard.
“We wanted to demonstrate that plastic no longer has a place in Chivas drinks, and that small acts – such as refusing the straw – can make a big difference.
“Through #BarStraws, everyone can be a part of this important conversation, and can help fund conservation too.”
At the start of this year, Pernod Ricard asked all its global affiliates to stop using non-biodegradable straws and stirrers at any company events.