Singapore goes through 2.2 million straws a day, which is enough to cover its coastline twice over. Fortunately, WWF together with Zero Waste SG and some of the biggest names in Singapore’s F&B industry, as well as indie haunts, are doing something about it in a major push to phase out plastic disposables.
The anti-plastic straw movement arguably became the biggest trend of the last five years. Sure, it’s not enough, but it’s a really damn good start. This is especially so in places like Singapore where you can cover the coastline twice over with the number of straws consumed by its citizens every day. As you can see, we’ve been addicted to single-use plastic straws since milkshakes and sodas boomed in America. So, when we heard that over 270 food and beverage outlets in Singapore will phase out plastic straws before July 1st, 2019, our jaws dropped. That’s why we are so excited that these #LittleGreenSteps are now turning into #BigGreenSteps.
After you’re done bowing down, here are the 5 Ws surrounding the initiative so you know exactly who to high five and why.
A whopping 270 outlets are participating in the initiative after recognizing that industry-wide efforts by businesses can contribute to reducing the excessive use of plastics.
- A Poke Theory
- Accor Group including Raffles, Swissotel, Fairmont, SO, Sofitel, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Ibis Styles
- Bettr Barista
- Brawn & Brains
- Carrotsticks and Cravings
- Foreword Coffee
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Guzman y Gomez
- iFood Pte Ltd including Good News Cafe, Providence Café
- Jones the Grocer
- The Lo & Behold Group which includes Loof, The White Rabbit, OverEasy Fullerton & Orchard, Tanjong Beach Club, Extra Virgin Pizza, The Black Swan, Odette, The Warehouse Hotel and Po, Le Bon Funk, Straits Clan and ESORA
- Annam Pte Ltd
- Nando’s Singapore
- Nassim Hill Bakery
- Nylon Coffee Roasters
- Plain Vanilla
- Ramada and Days Hotels by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park
- SaladStop! Pte Ltd
- Spa Esprit Group including Tiong Bahru Bakery, Open Farm Community (incl. NOKA sister restaurant), Tippling Club, Ding Dong, The Butcher’s Wife, Common Man Coffee Roasters, 40 Hands, Grounded by CMCR
- Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre
- SuperNature Pte. Ltd
- Tadcaster Hospitality including Cafe Melba, The Exchange, BQ Bar, Molly Malone’s, Bull and Bear, Dharma’s Kebabs
- The Coffee Academics
- The Lokal Singapore
- The Social Space
- Urban Mix
- Well Dressed Salad Bar
- Wheat Baumkuchen Pte Ltd
- Wildlife Reserves Singapore
As part of PACT (Plastic ACTion), a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) initiative supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Zero Waste SG, the 270 outlets will either remove straws completely from their premises or provide them only on request.
Singapore – but this shouldn’t stop there. Who’s next?
The initiative has already begun rolling out and will be fully in effect by July 1st, 2019.
A YouGov survey commissioned by WWF showed that 9 out of 10 people recognize the environmental problems caused by disposable plastic. Also, those surveyed flagged the F&B (76%) and food retail (71%) sectors as the biggest sources of disposable plastic in Singapore. Yet another survey found that 62% of people in Singapore use plastic straws only because they come with a purchased drink.
“Local support to reduce unnecessary plastics has grown in tandem with awareness about the environmental impact of plastic disposables,” said Pek Hai Lin, Manager of Zero Waste SG. “With more people now opting to bring their own reusable containers, bags or straws, we hope to see the movement encourage businesses to reduce other single-use plastic disposables too.”
To sum it up, we hugely hope that straws are only a starting point in a greater movement in reducing overall use of plastics by individuals and businesses. Although there is still a great challenge, WWF and Zero Waste SG will continue to work with the F&B industry to reduce unnecessary plastics. For instance, stirrers, cutlery, and plastic bottles while working on measures and innovations to tackle the plastic problem. So, if you want to know more about WWF’s PACT initiative, visit the website here.