The Dutch dairy cooperative said more than 100m plastic straws will be replaced by a more sustainable, paper variant by 2021.
FrieslandCampina said its action comes ahead of an EU ban on disposable plastic straws. Following the recent introduction of a recyclable cheese packaging, this is a next step towards less plastic.
The straws introduced by FrieslandCampina are made of certified paper.
Patrick van Baal, global director packaging development at FrieslandCampina, said, “It is not easy to develop a strong paper straw that is flexible and hygienic and that does not get soft too quickly while drinking. Besides, the straw must be degradable in case it accidentally ends up in the environment. After a lot of testing, we have succeeded in developing a straw that meets all these requirements.”
Straws on small packages of its own brands in the EU will be the first to be replaced. These include the brands Chocomel, Fristi, Campina and Optimel in the Netherlands; Cécémel, Joyvalle and Fristi in Belgium; Pöttyös in Hungary, and Yazoo in the UK.
Outside Europe, FrieslandCampina will also start using paper straws with the Dutch Lady brand in Hong Kong.
The company said there is currently not a suitable alternative for the plastic wrappers that are put around the straws for hygienic purposes, but that it will also replace these plastic protective wrappers around the straws as soon as a solution has been developed.