Sustainable packaging start-up Transcend Packaging featured on BBC’s One Show last night, championing the case for paper straws as a replacement for single-use plastic versions.
The company, based in Ystrad Mynach in South Wales, was set up specifically to focus on sustainable packaging, and began producing paper straws last summer.
On the programme, McDonald’s supply chain director Beth Hart said that its restaurants in the UK and Ireland used 1.8m straws a day.
“A move from plastic to paper already makes a huge dent in our environmental footprint,” she said.
Hart said the ongoing rollout of paper straws to McDonald’s branches would continue over the summer “and then we will be plastic-free in terms of straws”.
McDonald’s has more than 1,360 restaurants in the UK and Ireland. The company decided to switch make the switch following the public backlash against the use of single-use plastic straws, and a phased roll-out of paper straws began after successful trials last year.
The straws are made from certified PEFC or FSC paper.
The fast food chain is also changing the lids on its McFlurry ice creams from plastic to a paper carton construction. “That will remove 315 million tonnes of plastic from the system,” Hart added.
Transcend Packaging managing director Lorenzo Angelucci said that after seven months’ of operation the business now had 80 employees. Its current output capacity for paper straws is 1.2bn per annum, and he said the firm’s goal was to increase that to 12bn.
The Welsh firm is one of two suppliers of paper straws to McDonald’s. The other is Huhtamaki FS Delta in Belfast.
The One Show episode from 17 April can be viewed here for the next 29 days.