Plastic Straws Ban Statement

Foodservice Packaging Association Executive Director Martin Kersh comments:


“We are pleased the Government has recognised those in society who need a plastic straw must be able to enjoy hot and cold drinks away from home just as the majority of society is able to do without one, and has taken the decision to implement a regime of controlled supply rather than an outright ban.  This will also protect the dignity of groups such as the disabled.  It is shocking to read there are some mentioned in the consultation report who are so blinded by their desire to ban all plastics they would deny the right of these groups to a much-needed plastic straw.

“While pubs and foodservice operators will be able to stock plastic straws under the counter and supply on demand, we were concerned they will be forced to purchase them from pharmacy wholesalers, but we now understand that all wholesalers may sell to other businesses but will be prohibited from selling directly to members of the public.

“The additional six months before the regulations come into effect is welcomed and recognises the difficulties, we raised in adjusting to the controls and the desire not to waste those plastic straws currently in the supply chain.  Providing an alternative solution for beverage carton straws is highly complex so we also welcome the extended transition deadline to June 2021 for beverage carton straws.

“Using alternatives to plastic straws will come at a cost to businesses. We do not believe claims that economies of scale will kick-in in the production of paper straws.  There is a marked difference in production per minute which is highly unlikely to be closed.  Smaller, independent operators will be hit the hardest financially and Government must be reminded that independents account for a greater proportion of sales than the high street brands.

“We are concerned the term ‘biodegradable’ is used so loosely in the report. While alternatives may be capable of biodegrading the use of the term by Government may inadvertently give the impression it is acceptable to litter alternatives, which of course it isn’t.

“The FPA welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government on increasing recycling and reducing litter. We urge it to seek a more holistic solution and not to target individual items which in so doing gives the impression the actions proposed will make a significant difference to achieving these two key objectives.

“The big picture requires the implementation of a UK wide, consistent on the go waste management infrastructure for everything we consume outside the home.  We are now working with others to define what this system should look like and welcome all interested parties to work with us to achieve this.”



Ends                                                                                                                                                                 24   May 2019