Better World: The Last Straw...

Katy Mansell-Carter -
Better World: The Last Straw...

Many of you have been asking what’s the situation with our straws? Over the past weeks and months we’ve been tweeted many a photo of turtles with straws up their noses, and have been quite-rightly challenged by many of our eco-conscious customers and team members (we love you!) who want to know why we don’t use paper ones – so it’s about time we made things really, really clear about straws.

What we’re doing NOW:

REDUCE: We only give straws with the drinks that need them
Simple really. If your drink is a smoothie, an iced coffee, milkshake or a slushie, you will be given a straw as standard. If your drink is a soda, lemonade or juice, you won’t. If it’s been in a blender and requires a shluuuurp, you get a straw, otherwise, you don’t.

RE-USE: We encourage you to B.Y.O.S.
That stands for Bring Your On Straw by the way. The surefire way to save the turtles wherever you go, is to treat yourself to a reusable straw and take it with you, just like your other reusables.
Keep Cup: check, Water Bottle: check, Re-usable Straw: CHECK
We like these ones

RECYCLE: We will continue to use plastic straws instead of paper ones
Are we mad?! Well no, actually. Every single plastic straw that’s used inside one of our cafes, ends up in the recycling, is collected by Waste Source, who have been helping us get more of our waste than ever recycled over the past 3 years. However, the problem comes when plastic straws leave BTP (usually in a takeaway smoothie of iced coffee, mmm). Unfortunately, our local councils don’t provide compost or food waste bins on the streets, so those paper straws, however well-intentioned, would be sent to landfill, and so would not be able to decompose.
Quite simply, we believe that it’s better for a plastic straw to get recycled than a paper straw to end up in landfill.

What we’re doing NEXT:

This is just the tip of the iceberg – cutting down on straw usage is definitely a good place to start, but it’s only the beginning… here are our plans for what happens next:

  • Planning to implement a ‘straw tax’ (just like with plastic bags) and are looking for the right charity partner to donate the cash too
  • Reviewing ALL of our single-use consumables – from napkins to bottled water, everything is up for discussion at BTP HQ right now
  • Replacing our glassware so it’s easier to drink from
  • Looking for a takeaway cup alternative with a sippy lid (just like a coffee cup)
  • Exploring options for cold drink keep cups
  • Improving our signage inside our cafes, so it’s clearer where our rubbish gets recycled

This is not a one-way street! We need you (our staff, friends and customers) to try to get used to life without the convenience of single-use plastics to help create the momentum needed to make a difference.
These are just our ideas for making things better when it comes to single-use plastics – but we want your input and feedback. Whether you’ve got a brilliant idea to share, or just think that ours are pants, we’d really appreciate hearing from you: drop us an e-mail to [email protected]