Brands are waging a war on plastic straws and other single-use items, each launching their own cause marketing campaigns to showcase their efforts.
On Wednesday, Bacardi announced a partnership with Lonely Whale, a collaborative non-profit focused on ocean conservation. The campaign, dubbed #TheFutureDoesntSuck, includes a goal to eliminate one billion single-use straws from its global supply chain by the year 2020.
Plastic straws are one of the most common kinds of waste found on beaches, according to Ocean Conservancy, whose volunteers have cleaned up nearly 10 million of them so far. About 500 million plastic straws are discarded each day in the US, according to Bacardi. The rum brand led a similar campaign called #NoStraws back in 2016, vowing not to use straws in its cocktails.
Bacardi’s announcement comes right on the heels of news that Starbucks will eliminate its plastic straws by 2020. The company unveiled new lids that will be used on cold drinks and offer straws made from alternative materials such as paper or compostable plastic.
Earlier this year, Nestle announced plans to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by the year 2025. McDonald’s did the same, vowing that by the same year, 100 percent of its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources.
For 49 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 35, climate change and the destruction of nature are their number one concerns, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Shaper Survey. The annual study asked over 31,000 millennials from 186 countries and territories about issues from technology to social issues.
But, talk is cheap, which is why so many brands are working to stop pollution at the source. While 91 percent of respondents blamed humans for climate change, only 78 percent said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. However, expect this trend to continue as more brands jump on with plans to outlaw single-use plastics and straws.
On July 18, Marriott International adopted a plan to remove disposable plastic straws and plastic stirrers from its more than 6,500 properties across 30 brands around the world. This initiative, which begins in July of 2019, is part of a plan enacted last year to reduce landfill waste by 45 percent and responsibly sourcing its top 10 product purchase categories by 2025. The hospitality brand has already eliminated plastic straws from five of its location and received positive feedback from guests, Marriott said.