Gather & Gather shuns plastic straws in a first for contract catering

Gather & Gather has planted a flag in the sand and declared its intention to champion a war on straws by leaving single-use plastic straws out in the cold.

The UK and Ireland-wide contract caterer said yesterday that it has banned plastic straws from all 276 catering sites that it currently manages across its business.

Bosses at the firm, which is the contract catering division of strategic outsourcing provider Mitie Group, claimed it is the first major contract caterer to publicly announce its removal of all plastic straws.

Over 18 months, Gather & Gather has already halved its consumption of plastic straws, with the number of paper straws overtaking the number of plastic straws used for the first time in January 2017.

The plastic straws ban marks the latest stage of Gather & Gather’s campaign to remove single-use plastics across its business, as part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability. Paper straws will be provided as an environmentally responsible alternative to customers, on request only.

Allister Richards, managing director of Gather & Gather, said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing single-use plastic wherever possible and waging a war on straws is our latest stand. In our industry some of the biggest sustainability challenges are centred around waste. We want to promote best practice and call on other contract caterers to follow our lead to help save thousands of plastic straws from going to landfill each year.”

The war against straws follows Gather & Gather’s ‘Save our Serviettes’ campaign last year. ‘Save our Serviettes’ saw the full introduction of 100% recycled napkins, as well as a like-for-like reduction in serviette waste of 6.69 million napkins over one year. The campaign won the Best Waste Prevention Project award at the waste2zero awards in 2017.

In April 2018, Gather & Gather was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s 3-star award, for its work within sourcing and the environment.

Catering supplier reveals sales of paper straws outstrip plastic for first time

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