Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has announced plans to eliminate the use of single-use plastics and is pledging to stop offering plastic straws and spoons in over 600 of its Scoop Shops early this year.
Actions taken from Ben & Jerry’s to eliminate plastics Include:
- In August 2018, its Scoop Shops made plastic straws available by request only, with many shops already using plastic alternatives by this time
- By April 2019 (Free Cone Day), Scoop Shops will complete the transition to wooden spoons, with paper straws only available on request
- By the end of 2020, Ben & Jerry’s will find an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups, and plastic lids.
Ben & Jerry’s global sustainability manager Jenna Evans said the firm’s shops currently hand out 2.5 million plastic straws and 30 million plastic spoons annually, and that if all the plastic spoons used by Ben & Jerry’s in the US were placed end to end, they’d stretch from Burlington, Vermont to Jacksonville, Florida.
She added: “We’re not going to recycle our way out of this problem. We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of single-use plastic. Over the past year, we have begun an intensive effort to find a biodegradable and compostable coating that meets our product quality requirements.
“In the short term, eliminating plastic straws and spoons is not going to save the world. But it’s a good start toward changing expectations. We’re committed to exploring additional options to further reduce the use of disposable items. This transition is the first step for us on a more comprehensive journey to eliminate single-use, petroleum-based plastic in our supply chain, and we look forward to reporting on our progress.
“Thankfully, Ben & Jerry’s has a baked-in solution to plastic waste: it’s called our Waffle Cone. They’re yummy, convenient, and waste-free!.”