A mandatory ban on the use of plastic straws would create a financial headache for hospitality businesses such as hotels if it is imposed too quickly, UKHospitality has said.
Government consultation on banning plastic straws and stirrers is set to impact the industry as efforts are scaled up to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
The trade body said it welcomes the progress made and highlighted voluntary measures already being undertaken by hospitality businesses.
UKHospitality’s aim is to minimise single-use plastics as far as possible, in a timely manner that also ensures the introduction of affordable alternatives to avoid extra burdens and costs for businesses.
Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are fully supportive of measures to cut plastic waste, but a mandatory ban on the use of plastic straws in such a short timeframe would cause problems for the sector. Imposing a ban in such a short space of time may undermine measures that are already in place and increase burdens and costs.
“Hospitality businesses are leaders in reducing or eliminating the use of single-use plastics. This proactive work is to be encouraged and we support our members in their efforts to reduce waste.
“It should also be remembered that many of our customers have specific needs for requiring a straw and a blanket ban on plastic straws could discriminate against them if alternatives are not readily available.”
UKHospitality is a signatory of WRAP’s Plastic Pact which aims to significantly reduce plastic use within hospitality by 2025.