Fast food restaurant chain A&W Food Services of Canada is planning to remove plastic straws from all restaurants by the end of 2018.
This initiative makes A&W the first QSR chain to make this commitment in North America.
The restaurant chain will replace plastic straws with 100% biodegradable, compostable and sustainably sourced paper straws.
A&W Food Services president and chief executive officer Susan Senecal said: “Reducing waste from landfills is a top priority for A&W and this is one big way that we can make a difference.
“We are proud to make this change, which has been driven by the wishes of our guests, franchisees, and staff.”
According to the restaurant chain, the paper straws are designed to last for two or three hours and will naturally biodegrade in the environment in three to six months.
The company estimates that this move will reduce 82 million plastic straws out of landfills annually.
A&W Food Services distribution, equipment & packaging director Tyler Pronyk said: “Introducing packaging innovations that reduce waste is key to A&W’s environmental strategy.
“By using compostable packaging, real mugs, plates and cutlery, we are diverting millions of single-use packaging from landfills every year.
“Eliminating plastic straws is another big step for us. As we learn more about new tools and sustainable practices, we look forward to more improvements ahead.”
A&W Food Services currently operates more than 925 hamburger restaurants across the country.