A woman drinks with a plastic straw. File / AFP
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
DUBAI: A restaurant group has adopted eco-friendly options to reduce plastic. La Petite Maison’s Abu Dhabi and Dubai restaurants have ditched plastic drinking straws for eco-friendly equivalents made from potato starch.
The acclaimed French eatery aims to set a positive environmental example by ditching drinking straws, stirrers and cocktail sticks made of plastic.
The new items in use at La Petit Maison are made from a renewable source and are fully biodegradable, which means they won’t lurk in a landfill or stay solid in the sea.
“These new items are similar in feel and function to plastic straws, but without the environmental harm,” said General Manager Frank Serroul.
By mid-April, the venues aim to have replaced single-use plastic picks and drinks stirrers with stainless steel equivalents. It is also getting creative by creating delicious drinks – including the bestselling Petite Coco – to consume straight from the glass, no straw required.
“We have to condition our guests to stop expecting straws. The idea is to challenge customers’ expectation that drinks should automatically come with straws,” Serroul added.
Starting small is a common mantra amongst environmental activists, as seen in the growing global push to eliminate single-use plastics.
A single straw takes more than 500 years to break down into smaller particles known as microplastics. Many marine creatures have ingested plastic; it can also become embedded in sea turtles’ noses and cause fish and dolphins to choke.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, by 2050 the quantity of plastic in the oceans will outweigh that of fish.
Horizon FCB Dubai has partnered with Marie Claire Arabia to create an environmental campaign with a fashion twist, Stop Straw Lines. This campaign does not say stop using straws to save the planet, but stop using straws because they create wrinkles. Evidence shows, and dermatologists confirm, that the constant sucking motion when drinking from a straw, breaks down collagen and creates lines around the lips. The key message of this campaign is, that it doesn’t matter why you quit single-use plastics as long as you quit. The planet won’t mind.
People know how bad straws are for the environment, but the traditional shocking images sometimes aren’t enough to make people act. This campaign puts a beauty spin on a serious topic, and will make people actually stop and act.
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