Ribena is trialling paper straws on its drinks cartons as part of efforts to cut plastic waste, the brand’s owner has announced.
Suntory Beverage & Food Great Britain and Ireland, which owns Ribena, said the move aimed to prevent up to 16 tonnes of plastic being produced a year, and tackle plastic packaging which is not commonly recycled.
The bendable paper straws, which are available on new Ribena packs in Tesco for the trial, still currently come in a plastic wrapper, but the company said it was working to find an alternative.
A paper wrap that keeps the straw clean and hygienic from the factory to the point of consumption is set to be launched shortly.
The Government is due to enact a ban on single straws from October – after delaying the move due to the pandemic – and a ban in July next year will come into force for on-pack straws.
The new paper straws, designed with sustainable packaging firm Transcend Packaging, are 100% recyclable, Suntory said.
The company is also backing national Government moves to introduce a consistent set of items collected by local authorities for recycling, as only two-thirds of councils currently pick up cartons to be recycled.
Jo Padwick, business transformation manager at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, said local authorities needed to work with brands to ensure cartons and straws are recycled more.
“We’ve conducted hours of consumer testing to make sure our new paper straws can puncture the carton, that they don’t become soggy, and that Ribena lovers enjoy the feel of sipping from them.
“Now that they’re on shelf in Tesco we can gather even more feedback before rolling the straws out more widely,” she said.
James Bull, Tesco’s head of packaging, said, “We are working with our suppliers to remove and reduce as much packaging as we can, reuse more, and to make sure everything that’s left is recycled.
“It’s vital that all products become recyclable as quickly as possible, so we’re delighted that Ribena are redesigning the packaging on sale in our stores and cutting down on hard to recycle plastics.”