Pernod Ricard USA Bans Non-Biodegradable Straws and Stirrers

Pernod Ricard USA had done away with straws or stirrers.

The company announced today a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers in all parts of its business.

Pernod Ricard has established a policy to no longer purchase plastic straws, deplete the company’s current supply and encourage its business partners to look at similar opportunities. The commitment builds on a change made during the holiday celebration season.

Plastic straws and stirrers have been a central part of a drink for decades, and the reinvigorated popularity of cocktails has resulted in an explosion of global straw use. However, a straw – which is only used for 20 minutes, on average – can take more than 200 years to break down and often does not fully disintegrate, the company says.

“We want to break the association that a cocktail needs a straw or stirrer to be complete – and we think mixologists would agree,” says Amandine Robin, senior VP of communications and CSR at Pernod Ricard USA. “We’re asking consumers to join us by doing their part and choose to opt out of straws when responsibly enjoying beverages.”

“In the United States, we use 500 million straws a day – enough plastic to circle the earth more than two and a half times, and more than eight million tons of plastic are sent to the ocean every year, including straws,” adds Vanessa Wright, recently appointed group VP of sustainability & responsibility. “We understand that non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and it’s crucial we play our role in being part of the solution.”

Pernod Ricard’s environmental goals are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the company says, and its 2020 Roadmap includes a goal to reduce waste to landfills from 913 tons today to 0 by 2020.

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