plastic straws

Coca-Cola to stop distributing plastic straws

Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that from February, it will no longer distribute plastic straws or stirrers in Australia.

Instead, the company will stock fully recyclable and biodegradable Forest Stewardship Council-accredited paper straws, sourced from suppliers BioPak and Austraw.

The new straws will be made available through Amatil’s ordering platform to around 115,000 outlets nationwide. This includes cafés, grocery, petrol and convenience stores, bars, and quick service restaurants. 

Group Managing Director Alison Watkins says the decision was another step forward in the company’s efforts to reduce single-use plastics.  

“We’re serious about playing our part in reducing unnecessary plastic packaging,” Alison says. “We’ve heard the community message loud and clear – that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we all need to work together to reduce the amount entering litter streams, the environment and the oceans.”

Distribution of the old single-use plastic drinking straws and stirrers would cease as stocks run out over the next two months. Work is continuing on sustainable solutions for straws on Tetra Pak-supplied packaging, as well as for plastic spoons and scoops used with frozen drinks.

Alison says the intention is for 100 per cent of Coca-Cola Amatil’s Australian packaging to be fully recyclable by 2025, including all bottles, cans, plastic wrap, straws, glass and cardboard.

“We are working towards phasing out unnecessary and problematic single-use plastics entirely, through improved design, innovation or the use of recycled alternatives,” she says.

Last year, Coca-Cola Amatil announced that by 2020 it would reduce the carbon footprint of the “drink in your hand” by 25 per cent compared to 2010, use at least 60 per cent renewable or low-carbon energy in its operations, and screen 80 per cent of supplier spend using responsible sourcing criteria.

This is in addition to existing commitments on plastics and packaging reduction, including Coca-Cola’s “World Without Waste” aspiration – a goal to collect and recycle one bottle or can for every one produced, worldwide, by 2030. 

The Coca-Cola Company is also developing sustainable packaging goals to increase the recycled content in plastic bottles, and supports recycling programs in Australia.