LTA: 90% of busi­nesses may sup­port pro­posal to stop us­ing plas­tic straws

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90% of busi­nesses sell­ing plas­tic straws may par­tic­i­pate in a spe­cial cam­paign Bez salmiņa [No straw] or­ga­nized by Lat­vian Traders As­so­ci­a­tion and waste man­age­ment com­pany Zaļā josta, sats KTA pres­i­dent Hen­riks Danusēvičs.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the ini­tia­tive was launched 5 Septem­ber and is ex­pected to gather 90% of traders that sell prod­ucts that use plas­tic straws.

He re­minds that 1,000 cater­ing com­pa­nies, restau­rants, school cafe­te­rias and small cafes are part of LTA, and it is planned to in­volve them in this ini­tia­tive. «We can­not force any­one [to take part], but we do unite so­cially re­spon­si­ble com­pa­nies, and we hope they will join us in this ini­tia­tive,» said Danusēvičs.

LTA pres­i­dent re­minds that the Euro­pean Union has com­menced a fight against sin­gle-use plas­tic ac­ces­sories to help pro­tect the ocean and its in­hab­i­tants from plas­tic items. Although this di­rec­tive will come to force in 2020, so­ci­ety and busi­nesses may start re­al­iz­ing changes sooner.

The first step to­wards clean­ing up the en­vi­ron­ment would be stop­ping the use of cock­tail straws. Dur­ing the event, busi­nesses will be given stick­ers urg­ing to stop us­ing plas­tic straws at cafes, bars, restau­rants and stores.

Ac­cord­ing to Danusēvičs, ex­clu­sion of plas­tic straws from trade in the fu­ture may be a step to­wards ex­act­ing eco­log­i­cal changes, which could be fol­lowed up by re­fusal to use un­nec­es­sary plas­tic bags, large pack­ages, plas­tic cups, etc.

Zaļā josta mar­ket­ing man­ager Laima Kubliņa says plas­tic is light and floats in wa­ter. There are en­tire float­ing plas­tic is­lands in the oceans, which is a global prob­lem. In­hab­i­tants of the ocean suf­fer the most from this. Re­fusal to use un­nec­es­sary plas­tic items in the fu­ture will be­come all the more top­i­cal in the fu­ture. To ac­com­plish this, it is nec­es­sary to change peo­ple’s mind in favour of a green life­style. He says the less con­sumers use plas­tic straws, the more the de­mand for them will re­duce. Plas­tic straws are not col­lected in Latvia for re­cy­cling be­cause they are not ap­pro­pri­ate for re­cy­cling – they of­ten have food par­ti­cles in them. Be­cause of that, they are ei­ther burned or buried at a land­fill.

Moltto restau­rant co-owner Dai­nis Domiņš says that over the course of his ca­reer he has tested dif­fer­ent kinds of straws. He con­cluded that pa­per straws have a large ad­van­tage. Be­cause of that, the restau­rant has adopted pa­per straws.

Although there is a rel­a­tively large dif­fer­ence be­tween the price of pa­per and plas­tic straws, be­cause there aren’t many pro­duc­ers, if de­mand for pa­per straws in­creases in the fu­ture, the num­ber of sup­pli­ers will in­crease as well. This will also help re­duce the price dif­fer­ence of pa­per and plas­tic straws.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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