Foodservice giant Aramark raises the bar for strong action on single-use plastics

by Perry Wheeler

July 24, 2018

Washington, DC – Aramark, one of the world’s largest foodservice management companies, announced today that it will take major steps to reduce its single-use plastic footprint across its global operations. The company’s strategy includes plans to phase out plastic straws and stirrers, while ensuring they remain available in healthcare facilities and for people with physical disabilities. The company will look to decrease plastic straw use by 60% by 2020, representing 100 million straws per year.

Aramark will prioritize the reduction of single-use plastic in additional categories, including bags and cutlery. The company plans to expand its offering of reusable water bottles, mugs, takeout containers, and bags. Importantly, Aramark will work with national brands and suppliers to decrease packaging through innovation and design. Aramark will also work to educate consumers on the impacts of single-use plastics, and publicly report on its progress to ensure transparency and improvement.

Aramark operates in 19 countries, more than 5,400 business dining locations, over 2,000 healthcare facilities, and 1,500 schools. It serves nearly 2 billion meals each year.

Earlier this year, foodservice company Bon Appétit Management Company announced it is eliminating single-use plastic straws and stirrers.

In response to Aramark’s announcement, Greenpeace Plastics Campaigner Kate Melges said:

“With this announcement, Aramark has raised the bar for action on single-use plastics. Not only has the company promised to reduce its reliance on throwaway plastic immediately, it will prioritize reusable systems, better design and innovation, public education, and transparency. This new global policy puts direct pressure on other foodservice and fast moving consumer goods companies to act on the plastic pollution crisis immediately.

“Straw bans should be only one element of a comprehensive plan to phase out throwaway plastics, and Aramark has made it clear that it intends to go much further. Importantly, the company has recognized that progress on plastics should not come at the expense of the disabled community, ensuring that straws remain available for those who need them. This commitment sends a clear message to other large foodservice companies like Compass Group, Sodexo, Sysco, and US Foods that the era of single-use plastics is coming to an end. We urge other companies to take action immediately.”

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Contact: Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace Senior Communications Specialist, P: 301-675-8766

Perry Wheeler

By Perry Wheeler

Perry Wheeler is a senior communications specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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