Swedish food packaging firm Tetra Pak said it is against a ban on plastic straws as they serve “an entirely functional purpose.”
The company said that plastic straws can easily be recycled together with used cartons if the straws are pushed into the carton.
Tetra Pak is currently developing a paper straw. Last month the company said that it would have a paper straw ready by the end of the year. However, the company said it will take time before that iteration becomes widely available.
According to the FT, Tetra Pak is working on ways to educate people on pushing straws “back in the pack” once a carton is empty so that both the straw and the carton can be collected for recycling.
Charles Brand, Tetra Pak’s head of sales and marketing, was quoted by the FT as saying that the company announced it was working on a paper straw to address “the rising tide of negative public opinion towards plastic straws and government drives around the world to reduce their use”.
“For our own part, we will continue to make the case to politicians, regulators and environmental groups that the plastic straws attached to portion-sized carton packages serve an entirely functional purpose,” Brand said.
“We will also maintain our argument that, from an environmental perspective, their impact is significantly lower than most liquid food packaging alternatives.”
Charles Brand noted that there are “significant challenges” to making plastic straws work on Tetra Pak cartons, such as the ability of it to pierce the box.
Brand told the BBC: “In the meantime, therefore, we will continue to make the case that straws attached to our packages serve a vital functional purpose, and that bans are not the best way to tackle this issue, given the consequences of doing so,”