Burger King Singapore announced that it will no longer hand out plastic straws and lids with its cold drinks in an effort to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste produced by the chain. Plastic straws are one of the most challenging single-use items when it comes to recycling, which often leads to straws ending up in landfills and the environment at large. On average, Burger King Singapore uses a total of 14.7 metric tons of plastic just for its lids and straws. Now, thanks to this effort, that total will hopefully decrease.

Starting October 15, 2018, all of Burger King’s 42 outlets in the country will invite its guests “to go green with them,” Channel News Asia reports. Although plastic straws and lids will no longer be provided with every cold drink, they can still be requested by customers at the counter. This way, the chain will avoid unnecessary plastic waste while still being able to provide straws for those who need them, for example, due to medical reasons.

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When they are handed out automatically, straws may end up in the trash immediately. And even if straws are used, they are only used for a few seconds or minutes – a mind-blowingly short amount of time in comparison to how long they will spend in a landfill or the ocean before breaking down. A single plastic straw can take a couple hundred years to break down into small particles known as microplastics.

“It may seem like a drop in the ocean, but when more organizations adopt the initiative, we believe that it will send a positive signal to the community and we hope that eventually ripples turn to waves!,” said Mr. Goh Chin Hou, the General Manager of Burger King Singapore.

Plastic lids and straws will still be provided for takeaways and deliveries, but, hopefully, the chain’s new move is just the first of many more steps to tackle plastic waste. Plastic straws are now being handed out on request only or mainly replaced with biodegradable alternatives in a number of businesses including big companies like McDonald’s and KFC. And what is most important, moves aimed at limiting plastic waste, in general, continue gaining popularity among business owners.

If you are looking for more ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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Image source: Andrew Skudder/Flickr