UK pub retailer toasts ‘industry first’ compostable straws

Greene King expects the move to reduce more than 30m plastic straws every year across 1,750 pubs

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Pub retailer and brewer Greene King is to introduce compostable PLA straws across its entire UK facilities.

The move, claimed to be an industry first, is expected to reduce more than 30 million plastic straws every year across 1,750 pubs and is part of the company’s pledge to send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

PLA, which is made from plant-based materials such as sugarcane and corn starch, decomposes naturally in as little as 12 weeks and recycled into soil which can be used to fertilise plants and crops.

Greene King worked with waste partner SWRnewstar to find the closed-loop solution – the PLA straws will be segregated in the pub, taken back through its supply chain and decomposed in an In Vessel composter (IVC) at a commercial composting facility.

Greg Safe, Communications Director at Greene King said: “At the beginning of the year we removed our recyclable straws from the and provided them only on demand, which saw a 60% reduction, while we looked at a more sustainable alternative.

“Our closed-loop solution will ensure all PLA straws are correctly disposed of and decomposed into nutrient-rich soil, providing peace of mind for our customers who like the choice of a straw with their drink.”

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