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Ben & Jerry’s plans to phase out single-use plastics from its ice-cream stores and use alternative materials.

Ben and Jerry's“We’re not going to recycle our way out of this problem. We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of single-use plastic.”

Ben & Jerrys is the latest big food and drink brand to announce that it is moving away from single-use plastics. As a first step, the company will no longer offer plastic straws and spoons in any of its more than 600 Scoop Shops worldwide in early 2019. The company also unveiled a plan to phase out plastic cups and lids used to serve ice cream by the end of 2020.

Jenna Evans, Ben & Jerry’s Global Sustainability Manager, is leading the move. In a statement, she noted that Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops currently hand out 2.5 million plastic straws a year, and 30 million plastic spoons. If all the plastic spoons used by Ben & Jerry’s in the US were placed end to end, they’d stretch from Burlington, Vermont to Jacksonville, Florida, according to the company.

Evans said: “We’re not going to recycle our way out of this problem. We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of single-use plastic.”

“Single-use plastics are a pollution threat unlike anything we’ve seen before,” added Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

Ben and Jerry'sHe explained: “Across the globe, discarded plastics are choking our environment and threatening wildlife. The only solution is to stop using them. That’s why Ben & Jerry’s plan to move away from single-use plastics is exactly the kind of leadership we need. We urge other businesses to follow Ben & Jerry’s example and kick the plastics habit.”

Ben & Jerry’s has already embarked on its plan to get out of single-use plastic in its Scoop Shops:

  • August 2018Scoop Shops made plastic straws available by request only. Many Scoop Shops had already transitioned to plastic alternatives by this time.
  • By April 9, 2019 (Free Cone Day!)Scoop Shops will complete the transition to wooden spoons. Paper straws will be available by request only.
  • By the end of 2020Ben & Jerry’s will find an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups, and plastic lids.

New Call-to-actionYou may also interested in reading…

Read:UK to launch call for evidence on development of standards for bio-based and biodegradable plastics.

Read:European Commission urges industry to do more to boost recycled plastics market

Read:Five very different ways that can help tackle the global plastic crisis.

Read:Mixed industry response to European ban on plastic straws, bags and cotton buds.

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