At present, it doesn’t matter what form of media you choose to get your news from, as there will undoubtedly be an article centred around the environment. With concerns for our planet’s welfare growing and world nations discussing national and international initiatives to address this, we take a step back and discuss some simple product alternatives to make your bar eco-friendly.

The straws to fix the planet’s back

Paper Straws Wholesale

In 2018, the UK government ran a consultation from the 22nd of October to 3rd December in order to seek views regarding banning distribution and / or sale of plastic straws and stirrers. Following collation and conclusion of the findings on the 21st May 2019, a ban was planned to come into force in England from April 2020. October the 28th 2019 saw the first draft of the regulations which will come into effect from April 2020 in England regarding the banned distribution of plastic straws and stirrers.

As a result of this consultation, late 2018 leading into 2019 saw the rise of the paper straw as an alternative to the long-standing plastic stalwart. With a wide range of colours and types, the biodegradable paper variant has quickly taken over as the dominant option in the straw market. But recently, there has been an increase in eco-friendly straws meaning bar staff have more than just paper options to choose from.

An absolute steel

Metal Straw Wholesale

For a more sturdy and hardwearing option offering an elite aesthetic, bars can look at employing metal straws. Stainless steel versions are becoming more popular amongst high-brow, luxury establishments due to their visually stunning colours and premium image association. The straws offer reusability with being washable and at the end of their working life are recyclable. Being made from stainless steel means they can be completely recycled with the main alloying elements (chromium, nickel and molybdenum) being easy to remove, with the remaining elements being reused in stainless steel production.

Bales of fun

A recent addition to the straw product offering is straws made from, well, straw. This new to market option offers a sustainable solution which is made from a natural waste material which unlike some other straws is non-absorbent and tasteless. Another benefit is standard domestic composting units (such as compost bins) can be used to dispose of these straws, opposed to sending them off to industrial composting sites. Furthermore, as they are produced from wheat and not trees like their paper counterparts, the grow back rate is only one year.

The PLA way

PLA Straws Wholesale

PLA gives bar owners a biodegradable option due to being manufactured from naturally occurring plant material such as corn-starch or sugar cane. Being made from a renewable, plant-based resource, PLA straws are commercially compostable. They also require on average 68% fewer fossil fuels to produce than traditional plastic straws, making them a more sustainable choice when compared with their former plastic counterparts. Moreover, they have a sturdiness comparable to plastic straws which retain their structural integrity when submerged in a drink, ensuring you don’t get the disappointment of a fast-disintegrating straw becoming a part of your cocktail garnish.

Going stir crazy

Staying with cocktail and alcoholic accessories, stirrers have also been a focal point of this consultation. As such, the April 2020 sale and distribution ban includes plastic stirrers meaning bars, venues and cocktail servers will need to review what alternative options are available.

A substitute would be great, wooden it

wooden disc stirrer wholesale

Wooden disc stirrers hit the market the same time as wooden cutlery and offer bar staff an environmentally-sensitive choice in the wake of the impending plastic prohibition. Being made from wood means our birch disc stirrers provide an option which is tasteless and non-absorbent, meaning it won’t affect the drinks flavour or fall to pieces. Another benefit of their durable ligneous composition is they perform equally well in hot drinks as they would cold ones. Much like the mentioned straw straws, these are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable making them the perfect addition / replacement for the environmentally-conscious establishment.

Stirrers, but not as we know them

metal disc stirrers wholesale

Much in a similar vein to the straws, metal options are also available. Stainless steel stirrers add a degree of exclusivity to a drink, especially when bar staff have the option to deploy one of three colours: gold, silver or copper. A well-polished and presented metal disc stirrer adds a luxury feeling to not only the beverage it’s accompanying, but also the venue it is being served in. Naturally, these stirrers have a long working life bringing a reusable quality to an otherwise single use market. Once they have reached their end of work life, they can be sent off for recycling into other metal products.

Moving forward

To meet with the regulations being implemented in April 2020, bars and venues will need to review where they get their single use plastics and make changes to their current product purchasing. The move is a good step towards a more environmentally-friendly way of operating and has been welcomed and embraced by most in the industry.

At Alliance Online, we offer bars and hospitality businesses a wide selection of eco-friendly alternatives and products, ensuring we supply customers with the most up to date and current green solutions. We actively look to invest and suggest environmental substitutes where possible to make sure your business is doing everything it can to meet regulations and reduce your carbon footprint.

Raise the environmental bar with these eco-barware alternatives | Alliance Online
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Raise the environmental bar with these eco-barware alternatives | Alliance Online
With everyone turning to paper straws, we at Alliance Online discuss the other options available to bar managers when it comes to replacing plastic straws and stirrers. Exploring metal, straw, wooden and PLA products we shed a light on the wider market of possible choices and discuss their benefits from a bar users perspective and an environmental standpoint too.
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Alliance Online
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