Ben & Jerry’s is mooooving away from single-use plastic.
According to their marketing team, to get started on the worldwide move, the company will no longer offer plastic straws and spoons in any of its more than 600 Scoop Shops worldwide in early 2019. We’re lucky enough to have over 30 of these on our shores in Australia and New Zealand.
The company also announced a plan to address plastic cups and lids used to serve ice cream by the end of 2020. Jenna Evans, Ben & Jerry’s Global Sustainability Manager, is leading the transition. She noted that Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops currently hand out 2.5 million plastic straws a year, and 30 million plastic spoons. If all the plastic spoons used by Ben & Jerry’s in the US were placed end to end, they’d stretch from Burlington, Vermont to Jacksonville, Florida. “We’re not going to recycle our way out of this problem,” she said. “We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of plastic.” “Single-use plastics are a pollution threat unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “Across the globe, discarded plastics are choking our environment and threatening wildlife. The only solution is to stop using them. That’s why Ben & Jerry’s plan to move away from single-use plastics is exactly the kind of leadership we need. We urge other businesses to follow Ben & Jerry’s example and kick the plastics habit.”
Ben & Jerry’s has already embarked on its plan to get out of single-use plastic in its Scoop Shops:
• August, 2018—Scoop Shops made plastic straws available by request only. Many Scoop Shops had already transitioned to plastic alternatives by this time.
• By April 9, 2019 (Free Cone Day!)—Scoop Shops will complete the transition to wooden spoons. Paper straws will be available by request only.
• By the end of 2020—Ben & Jerry’s will find an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups, and plastic lids.
The company has a history of striving for more sustainable packaging solutions. Pints and “tubs” (as Ben & Jerry’s container is known in the UK and Europe) have been made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified paperboard since 2009. But because they are coated with polyethylene to create a moisture barrier, they are difficult to recycle. Evans said Ben & Jerry’s is looking at options. “Over the past year, we have begun an intensive effort to find a biodegradable and compostable coating that meets our product quality requirements,” she said.
Ben and Jerry's products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry's, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry's became a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation) in 2012. The Ben & Jerry's Foundation's employee-led grant programs totaled $2.7MM in 2018 to support grassroots organizing for social and environmental justice around the country.
It’s clear that Ben & Jerry’s take global issues seriously and when it comes to Reducing Single-Use Plastics, they’re on top of their game.
Are you looking to be part of this world-changing organisation and operate a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop of your own? Exclusive franchise opportunities are available in Australia and New Zealand to select individuals or duos. Key locations include Byron Bay, Auckland, Queenstown and Brisbane.
Get in touch with the Ben & Jerry’s Herd to find out more!