Coca-Cola Amatil has announced it will no longer distribute plastic drinking straws or stirrers in Australia.
The drinks company will instead stock fully recyclable and biodegradable Forest Stewardship Council accredited paper straws.
Group Managing Director Alison Watkins said 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,” Watkins said.
“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. “
The new paper drinking straws will be sourced from suppliers BioPak and Austraw and made available through Amatil’s ordering platform to around 115,000 outlets nationwide including grocery, petrol and convenience stores, bars, cafes and quick service restaurants.
Distribution of the old single-use plastic drinking straws and stirrers would cease as stocks run out over the next two months. The new sustainable paper straws would be available from February.
Work was continuing on sustainable solutions for straws on Tetra Pak-supplied packaging, as well as for plastic spoons and scoops used with frozen drinks.
Watkins said the intention was for 100% 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,” Watkins said.
Amatil's move follows Woolworths announcing it would stop selling plastic straws by the end of 2018.
In January last year, both Diageo and Pernod Ricard announced they were phasing out plastic straws and plastic drink stirrers across their businesses.
Bacardi banned plastic straws in 2016 as part of its ‘Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future’ campaign.