The calls for plastic straws to be banned are growing after research has shown the extent of damage they cause to the ocean and marine life. Recently, two major South African companies have joined the war on straws by pledging to stop the supply and use of the non-biodegradable products.
Ocean Basket, one of the country’s biggest seafood franchises, will be rolling out the ban on straws and plastic bags in all 168 of its restaurants during the course of 2018. They will also encourage its franchises in other African countries, such as Zimbabwe and Nigeria, to do the same.
Ocean Basket will team up with aquariums, research institutes, non-profit organisations and other restaurants to promote the ban on plastic products. Ocean Basket also actively encourages sustainable seafood harvesting through education and awareness campaigns.
Pernod Ricard bans straws
Joining the calls for a ban on straws is Pernod Ricard, a global alcoholic drinks supplier and producer, with over 45 brands under its control. Some of these brands include Absolut vodka, Havana Club rum, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Olmeca Tequila, to name a few. The beverage giant also hopes to completely stop its waste to landfills by the year 2020.
Pernod Ricard declared that they will no longer use plastic straws or stirrers in any aspect of its business, and have asked its partners to cease using plastic at their events in the future. “We refuse, and will continue to refuse, products and services that detrimentally impact the environment, especially if it can be helped. Our future goal as a company is to move in a more mindful manner, making better, more conscious decisions along the way. If we all adopt this mentality, together, we can actually make the change that we wish to see in the world,” says managing director of Pernod Ricard South Africa Paul Scanlon.
Other restaurants and companies have also called for a reduction in plastic pollution. Truth Coffee Roasting have stopped giving their customers straws, whereas the V&A Waterfront has just launched its own marine drone that collects up to 500kg of plastic and ocean pollution from the surface. V&A Waterfront CEO, David Green, said that plans are in place to completely ban plastic bags and bottles from the popular tourist hub.
As much as 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year, according to Greenpeace Africa. This plastic is consumed by a variety of marine creatures, along with other non-biodegradable waste such as cigarette butts.