Pernod Ricard straw-shunning 'very much a step in the right direction'

12 January 2018

Drinks giant, Pernod Ricard has declared it will stop using non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers in any part of its business.

After banning the use of plastic straws and stirrers at its events in the run up to the festive season, Pernod has asked all its affiliates globally to stop using these products at its events in the future.

Many great things have come out of the rebirth of cocktails, but the use of plastic is not one of them. Research bods have found a straw, which is used on average for 20 minutes, can take more than 200 years to breakdown and often does not fully disintegrate.

On-trade reaction

‘We know that this type of non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and for us it’s crucial that we play our role in helping to prevent any further damage,’ Vanessa Wright, recently appointed group VP of sustainability and responsibility, said.

Trash Tiki champions sustainability
Trash Tiki champions sustainability

While some will view this as a seismic shift in the sustainability movement, others will be of the opinion this is a mere drop in the ocean.

‘I think it’s very much a step in the right direction,’ Nightjar and Oriole owner, Edmund Weil told Imbibe. ‘We’ve actually never used plastic straws in our bars; we use stainless steel in Nightjar and Bamboo in Oriole. Both of these are reusable many many times (as long as your guests refrain from stealing them!) and I believe have worked out more cost effective that going through hundreds of thousands of plastic straws.'

The guys at Trash Tiki, who have taken their #DrinkLikeYouGiveAFuck anti-waste fight on tour, have worked closely with Pernod in the past.

'We think it’s a great initiative that a lot of other brands and bars have gotten on board with,' Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage told us. ‘The best thing about this, is to consider that hopefully within a very short future the reality will be all brands are on board, and from there no brand will be spending money on single use plastics.'

When asked if others will follow, the duo said: 'Probably not, but as these steps are much less a trend or movement but more a natural evolution, those who can’t evolve or keep up will definitely die off.'

Be warned.

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