Some multinational companies are paving the way for a plastic-free future by banning single-use plastic items or finding alternatives for single-use plastic items. When a multinational changes some of their processes and systems, it can have a tremendous impact globally.
If companies want to keep up in this rapidly changing world they must acknowledge their wider impacts and take action on them. Brands that establish a reputation for social responsibility and caring for the environment have the opportunity to grow and build a sustainable brand that enhances their loyal customer base.
When it comes down to waste reduction, especially plastic waste, a start has been made around single-use plastic items, especially straws.
Some examples of multinationals that have already announced to phase out single-use plastic straws are, Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt, United Airlines, Disneyland, Starbucks, McDonald's amongst others.
If multinationals of scale can make these changes, it has a great impact on plastic waste and pollution globally.
Through this global movement, there is a lot more awareness being raised about our plastic waste issue. Views and opinions on plastic waste and everyday single-use plastic items are drastically transforming all around the world, including Australia.
People, especially millennials, are becoming more and more aware of the serious impacts of their behaviours and actions on the environment they live in and they want to make positive changes to reduce those impacts, including supporting businesses that positively contribute to sustainability.
“87% [of millennials] would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues.” - Forbes
People are more concerned when eating out, having a drink or enjoying a coffee. Sustainable consumerism is on the rise and impacts businesses, as businesses with more sustainable practices tend to be favoured by a larger, continuously increasing, group of consumers.
Is Australia ready?
Australian businesses should join in and take the lead in diminishing their plastic footprint by finding alternatives to everyday plastic items, such as straws.
In the past year, we have seen some great changes happening in single-use plastic waste reduction with big supermarket chains banning plastic bags. This is a great way for the supermarket industry to start playing their part. Unfortunately, we are not there yet and there is still a great deal of work to be done. However, it is a great start and it started conversations around Australia.
It is now up to other industries to follow this lead. The hospitality industry can also play an important role in the war on waste, by diminishing the use of single-use plastic straws. If Australian hotel chains, pubs, bars, restaurants and other businesses would collectively stop using plastic straws and replace them by alternatives, such as bamboo straws, the plastic footprint of the hospitality industry as a whole will start to decrease drastically.
With alternatives readily available to help make the switch, what are Australian businesses waiting for?
It is actually quite easy to make the switch and #SipSustainably.