We were already looking at products that are kinder to the environment when we received a heart-felt letter from a young primary school pupil who wrote: "Plastic straws are very bad, can you do something to help?"
It is estimated that 4.7 billion single use plastic straws are used in England each year. They are used for just a few minutes but can take hundreds of years to break down.
In October 2018, the Government set out a plan to protect our rivers and seas by banning the distribution of single use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds. A ban is likely to come into force between 2019 and 2020. Pharmacies, pubs, clubs and restaurants may still be permitted to hold a stock of plastic straws to assist people with medical or accessibility reasons. Click the link to find out more about the Government's consultation process.
The good news is that we have already introduced paper straws as an alternative to plastic ones.
A big thank you to our customers who volunteered to test different straws to make sure we introduced the best straws for drinking, stirring and slurping.
Over a number of weeks, our volunteers drank Shakes through environmentally-friendly straws made out of paper, corn starch and bamboo. We asked them to comment on quality, practicality, straw thickness and straw length. We also needed to know whether the straw tasted funny or felt odd while they were drinking their Shakes.
Some of our testers even managed to make a Shake last for15 minutes so they could tell us if any of the straws unravelled or deteriorated when wet. This made the Shakeologists think of Mary Berry saying "we don't want a soggy bottom!"
Before making a decision, we looked at product costs, availability and how far the straws had to travel before they arrived at Shakin' it. We also considered the environmental and recycling benefits of the various straws on the market.
Paper straws are made from renewable natural fibres, like recycled paper. Adhesives can be made from soy or vegetable oil and food-grade colouring is used for printing. Paper straws are much softer than plastic with no scratchy or hard edges. They are also biodegradable and compostable in the right conditions.
After a lot of testing and research, we eventually decided on our funky lime green paper straws... they are very strong and the widest we could find. We hope you will agree that they are just perfect for slurping up those yummy pieces from the bottom of your tasty shake.
Now, coming back to young student, Will. In his letter he says he has been to Shakin' it several times and it is one of the best places he has ever been to. We hope that we have reassured Will and his school friends that we are continuing to search for eco-friendly products that are practical and sustainable.
We will update our blog and our social media pages when we have more news to share. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy slurping up your favourite Milkshake, Smoothie Shake or Dairy-Free Shake through our new-look straws.
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