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Wednesday, 05 December 2018

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Ban on plastic waste to effect hospitality leaders

Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Article Image 05 December 2018

Yesterday (Monday 3rd December) the Government’s consultation on the impact of plastic straws and drink stirrers on the environment closed. It was open for six weeks and followed Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement of a future ban at a Commonwealth heads of government summit held in April​.

UKHospitality said it believed a mandatory ban would be problematic if introduced in the intended time frame, while the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said it supported a ban.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the body was “fully supportive of measures to cut plastic waste”, but that the quick advent of a ban could be difficult for businesses. The trade body highlighted how that voluntary measures are more practical for hospitality businesses.

She said: “Imposing a ban in such a short space of time may undermine measures already in place and increase burdens and costs. Hospitality businesses are leaders in reducing or eliminating the use of single-use plastics. This proactive work is to be encouraged and we support our members in their efforts to reduce waste."

A ban across the entire sector, including retail, has been encouraged by the BBPA, as well as covering all types of plastic straws to ensure consistency.

Chief executive Brigid Simmonds, believes that people within the hospitality industry have a responsibility to promote a reduction in plastic waste. He said: “It is important we all do our bit to reduce plastic waste and that is why we welcome the Government’s proposals to ban plastic straws and stirrers. To help pubs reduce their plastic waste we have already produced guidance for licensees as well.”

Both trade bodies pointed out that plastic straws are still a necessity for people with disabilities and that accessibility to them should still be optional from pubs, which could be effective by the governmental ban.

UKHospitality echoed this sentiment. “It should also be remembered that many of our customers have specific needs for requiring a straw, and a blanket ban on plastic straws could discriminate against them if alternatives are not readily available,” Nicholls said.