KFC Singapore is about to stop handing out plastic straws and lids in all of its 84 restaurants in the country. The switch to a less wasteful strategy starts will begin June 20, 2018, and will save an estimated 17.9 tons of single-use plastic a year. The company also shared that it is set to review and introduce the use of more biodegradable packaging for its products.

The company recently introduced their No Straws Initiative and in accordance with their new policy, customers will not be provided with plastic straws or lids. The only exception for this policy will be takeaway drinks that will be eligible for a lid, The Straits Times reports.

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“We acknowledge the strain that single-use plastics put on our environment and are taking steps to do our part in endeavouring a change,” said Lynette Lee, the company’s general manager. “We recognize that every little bit counts and are proud to be the first fast-food restaurant in Singapore to champion this movement, one straw at a time.”

Environmentally-conscious Singaporeans have praised KFC’s move. According to Pamela Low, member of Singapore Youth for Climate Action, the announcement was “unexpected,” but very welcome. “I’m happy that KFC didn’t just stop with plastic straws, but went further to stop using plastic lids as well,” she said.

Last year, KFC replaced foam packaging with recyclable paper alternatives for their breakfast platters and porridge bowls. Previously, it opted for serving dine-in meals in reusable baskets instead of paper boxes.

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Plastic straws are some of the most pervasive plastic items we throw away. Americans alone use around 500 million plastic straws a year. Fortunately, “traditional” straws are now being phased out by a number of restaurants and chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King. To find out how you can be a part of the change by ditching straws and other single-use plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Image source: Harsha K R/Flickr

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