Burger King Singapore jumps on the trendy ‘no straws and lids’ movement

Burger King, the often disregarded fast-food joint here, has also decided to play their part in being environmentally friendly. Like fellow fast-food chain KFC, the burger joint has stopped providing dine-in customers with straws and plastic lids for its beverages, confirmed a representative to The New Paper.

As of yesterday, all 42 Burger King outlets are no longer giving straws and plastic lids — but that’s not to say the brand is totally doing away with them. Dine-in customers who require straws and cup lids can request for them at outlet counters, and they will still be provided for takeaway orders and deliveries.

“The removal of straws and lids will help our guests rethink whether they really need them and get everyone to do their part in keeping the environment clean,” noted a Burger King Singapore general manager to TNP.

As Burger King and many other big F&B franchises (like Starbucks) are starting to outrightly stand against plastic straws, it begs the question: is phasing them out actually beneficial for the environment? Anti-straw advocacy is great of course — and something that everyone jumped on after that viral sea turtle video — but by weight, straws only account for a minuscule fraction (about .03 percent) of the 8 million metric ton of plastic waste floating in oceans each year.

“…these bans leave the impression that they solve the plastics pollution problem without much discussion of systematic solutions,” wrote the World Resources Institute’s Mathy Stanislaus about the root of the issue. “As a society, we should think holistically about the products we use and their impacts. We can’t just ban bad products—we must invest in alternatives.”

That’s not to say that standing against straws is a bad thing — it’s a great first steptoward reducing plastic waste. But if big brands and corporations are truly serious about tackling the issue, they should think beyond trendy anti-straw activism and figure out a way to do away with single-use plastics altogether.

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