“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.
He 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.