The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is to phase out the use of plastic straws and stirrers as part of the industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
First launched in 2009, the SWA’s Environmental Strategy set out a series of targets, including a commitment that by 2020 all product packaging will be 100% recyclable.
The industry body said that the latest commitment to phase out the use of plastic straws and stirrers and replace them with new environmentally friendly biodegrable alternatives is a logical extension of that goal.
It will also encourage its members – which include Beam Suntory, Chivas Brothers and Loch Lamond Group – to follow suit.
The move follows an announcement earlier in the month by Diageo and Pernod Ricard that both companies also plan to eliminate the use of plastic straws and stirrers.
SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “The Scotch whisky industry takes sustainability very seriously. Through our Environment Strategy, the industry is taking steps to reduce its impact on the environment, including action to reduce non-fossil fuel use, increase recycling and ensure efficient use of water.
“Our commitment to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from all our offices, industry and events is yet another signal of our commitment to the environment.
“It is encouraging to see Scotch whisky producers taking steps to phase out unnecessary plastics. We hope that this SWA commitment will lead to the industry uniting behind biodegradable alternatives so that Scotch whisky cocktails can continue to be enjoyed without discarded plastics continuing to have a damaging impact on land as well as at sea.”
Last year, the SWA announced the appointment of Karen Betts as the body’s chief following the departure of David Frost in November 2016.