KFC South Africa has officially announced the removal of plastic straws in over 900 restaurants across South Africa, helping to eliminate 60 million plastic straws a year.
The announcement was made at the Origins Centre at Wits University and forms part of a new global sustainability commitment from the business that all plastic-based packaging items will be recoverable or reusable by 2025.
Impacting the narrative on plastic
This commitment supports KFC’s long-term plan to implement a more sustainable packaging strategy in its restaurants – by developing a roadmap for using sustainable packaging options –building on the progress of plastic straws. In addition to this, and as part of its ongoing efforts to adopt more sustainable practices, the brand has already removed disposable plastic beverage cups from its KFC head office.
As a global brand that operates in 900 restaurants in South Africa, KFC can have a real impact on how the industry approaches single-use packaging. With environmental sustainability as a core aspect of how we do business, this commitment represents a public acknowledgement of the start of our journey as KFC to address these issues to have a positive effect on our environment. In South Africa we have secured a local supplier for our paper straws, stimulating local business, and economies,” remarked Thabisa Mkhwanazi, KFC Africa’s public affairs director.
“Additionally, while we are aware that KFC joins an already existing global war on plastic, but as a fast food giant, we are doubly aware of the sheer scale of our business to be able to profoundly impact the narrative on plastic.”
The final straw
“The Origins Centre is excited to collaborate with KFC. The significance of Origins is sharing the evolution of mankind, and so it is fitting that they are here today to mark this evolution in their business, and we applaud their move. Off the back of World Ocean Day, this is a fitting announcement as we know plastics significantly impact our environment. We have been happy for KFC to erect an exhibition here at Origins that will be on display for 2 months to mark the final straw and raise awareness and educate on the use of plastics and its impact,” says Amanda Esterhuysen, Origins museum director.
As one of the leading QSR brands in the industry, KFC remains committed to embarking on initiatives that uphold environmental standards in the communities where they operate. They, therefore, believe it’s their responsibility to take the necessary measures and implement practices that will ensure the reduction of their environmental impact as much as possible.
“This moment in our history is just the beginning. It started with the straw. This is our final straw,” concludes Mkhwanazi.