MILLIONS of paper straws from outlets such as Pret a Manger, KFC and Costa are not recycled, The Sun can reveal.
Yesterday we revealed that McDonald’s had swapped plastic straws which are recyclable for “eco-friendly” paper straws — which are not.
Pret are among the many fast food giants unable to recycle millions of paper straws[/caption]
But it is an industry-wide problem with UK waste plants.
The main issue is that the paper absorbs food and drink, but they need to be separated. The paper also needs to be split from the straw’s “food safe” glue.
Meanwhile the processing plants themselves — for both big firms and local councils — struggle to cope with the new demand.
Fast-food chains are working with their waste plants to gear up, but there are fears those used by councils are not under the same pressure.
So even if straws thrown away inside diners might be recycled, ones used by takeaway customers might not.
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Plastic straws will be banned from April, but many High Street chains have already switched. McDonald’s said: “The infrastructure needed to recycle has not kept pace.”
Pret said: “Our paper straws are biodegradable and recyclable. But they are not recycled in the existing recycling infrastructure in the UK.”
KFC said straws it plans to introduce across the country “follow our specific criteria and are fully recyclable.”
Costa did not says whether its straws are recyclable.
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