Hong Kong restaurant chain Café de Coral has announced that they will no longer offer plastic straws unless requested by a customer at any of their branches, an initiative that began on January 1, 2019.
This decision follows a Greenpeace study revealing the chain to be one of three Hong Kong fast-food giants - Fairwood and Maxim’s being the other two - responsible for 180 million items of disposable plastic for both eat-in and takeaway meals last year. On average, the three restaurants provided seven to 14 pieces of plastic per takeaway meal, according to the study.
Café de Coral now supports the ‘No Straw Campaign’ initiated by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong.
“We have deep concern for the issue of phasing out single-use plastics," said Peter Lo Tak-shing, CEO of Café de Coral Group.
"Understanding the importance of public education, we will reinforce the promotion of ‘Say No to Straw’ with advertisements and in-store promotional materials."
Other initiatives to limit the amount of single-use plastic distributed by the chain include encouraging customers to bring their own containers for takeway meals. This is part of a HK$1.2 million government funded scheme, which started in Novmeber and ends in January, allowing customers to receive stamps to redeem a free set of reusable cutlery or a hot drink when they choose to refuse plastic utensils.
Café de Coral expects the amount of single-use plastic distributed to be reduced by 50% with all these measures implemented.
“We proactively cooperate with suppliers to explore alternative materials that fit food safety requirements without adversely impacting the environment,” said Lo.
“While we keep the reduction of single-use plastics usage as our short-term goal, terminating single-use plastic cutlery usage completely (is our long-term goal).”