NEWS | Industry Updates Plan to ban the plastic straw

The Government has set out its plan to ban the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds to protect our rivers and seas. The plan is subject to a consultation launched by

Environment Secretary Michael Gove. In England, it is estimated that annually we use 4.7 billion


Addressing customer feedback after the successful launch of its first ever festive cup last year, 4 Aces has extended its range of the ‘Jumpacup’ to include double wall 8 oz and 12 oz cups, along with PLA versions of the same. The non-branded cup has proven popular thanks to its theme of

‘coming together’. A colourful design depicting a row of festive jumpers, their sleeves touching as if they are joining hands, the Jumpacup was initially launched as a single wall cup in a bid to test the market. 4 Aces had previously created tailored cups for key customers to

mark that special, celebratory time of year but wanted to introduce a generic festive cup in order to reach the widest audience and explore demand. The packaging specialist has since been keen to expand its popular lines with PLA versions of the same. Demand is being driven for these sustainable, compostable alternatives by the end- users, who are now a lot more savvy about disposables and the effect they may have on the environment, overall. David Blake, sales director of 4 Aces explains: “It’s important to us

that we offer our customers the widest choice and this includes novelty and festive items that may have previously been limited in terms of the selection, particularly for what are deemed greener versions.

“Demand for printed items has risen considerably in recent years

and we’ve been keen to play a part in this and to experiment with our own designs. We’re just delighted that the initial launch of the Jumpacup met with such a warm reception. “Our intention was to create a universal design that could be used in all environments and by a wide range of customers. Most people are keen to embrace the spirit of the season and it’s nice to give them that option.”

Shmoo switches to paper straws

In a bid to help reduce waste created by single-use plastics, Shmoo has decided to part ways with plastic straws from the end of this year. Karen Green, marketing manager at Aimia Foods said: “To be able to do our bit in terms of helping the

environment, whilst supporting a local business, is something that the Shmoo team is tremendously proud of. “At Shmoo, we see the straw as an indispensable tool for milkshake drinkers due to the thick nature of the

drink. Because of this, finding the most suitable solution to replace the conventional plastic straw was key: We want our customers to continue enjoying the same drinking experience, yet in a much more environmentally friendly way.” By offering paper straws, Shmoo, now offers a greener grab-and-go milkshake option. This adds to existing

efforts to minimise environmental impact with 50% of the plastic used in the manufacturing process of Shmoo cups and lids coming from recycled plastic (RPET). Shmoo cups and lids are also 100% recyclable and can be recycled by all local authorities through plastic waste stream bins. Blended with milk, Shmoo creates a thick, ice cream textured milkshake - suitable for outlets looking to

provide easy milkshakes. A scoop of the milkshake mixed with milk will see the mixture double in size and create a thickshake said to appeal to all ages.

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plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds. An estimated 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets and can end up in waterways and oceans. Even though non-plastic alternatives are readily available,

these single-use plastic items are used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down. Cleaning up the effects of littering costs local Government millions of pounds every year. In order to eliminate these items from use, the Government intends to introduce a ban on their distribution and sale. The ban would come into force at some point between October 2019 and October 2020, subject to the views collected during consultation. We recognise there are instances where using plastic

straws is necessary for medical reasons and our consultation seeks views on how to ensure those who need straws for medical and accessibility reasons can still use them. For example, pharmacies will still be able to sell plastic straws and restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to stock some straws for use on request. The Government will work closely with stakeholders to ensure these exemptions are crafted exactly right. Launching the consultation, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Our precious oceans and the wildlife within need urgent protection from the devastation throw- away plastic items can cause. “In England we are taking world-leading action with our

ban on microbeads, and thanks to the public’s support have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p charge. “I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have

already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more.”

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