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Plastic straw use could drop after lockdown, packaging expert says

Tommy McLoughlin, boss of a recyclable paper cup company, says Covid-19 is likely to change how people eat and drink.

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A packaging expert said plastic straws are an example of poor hygiene practice (Kirsty’Connor/PA)

A packaging expert said plastic straws are an example of poor hygiene practice (Kirsty’Connor/PA)

A packaging expert said plastic straws are an example of poor hygiene practice (Kirsty’Connor/PA)

Post-coronavirus lockdown hygiene concerns could see a fall in the use of plastic lids, straws and keep cups, a packaging expert has predicted.

Starbucks and a number of other coffee shops banned the use of keep cups at the start of the pandemic in a bid of stem the spread of the virus.

Tommy McLoughlin, whose company produces recyclable paper cups for hot drinks, says he believes the pandemic will change how people eat and drink.

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Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

“Plastic lids and straws are a high-profile example of poor hygiene practice and are usually available unwrapped in public spaces at food service areas,” the Butterfly Cup boss said.

“The manner in which lids and straws are stacked and handled, particularly at self-service outlets, increases the risk of cross-contamination and will trigger anxiety among consumers.

“Beverage retailers now need to reconsider the choices they offer consumers on the basis that customers will react negatively to products which increase the risk of cross-contamination.

“The impacts of Covid-19 will persist into the future and hygiene practices in the catering industry will become a much more sensitive concern for customers.

“The industry now has an opportunity to reflect strategically and plan ahead for the longer-term impact on consumer choices.”

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Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

Butterfly Cup founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin believes Covid-19 will force catering businesses to address customer anxiety around the hygiene and cross-contamination risks of plastic lids, straws, and keep cups.

Butterfly Cup does not require lids or straws and opening and closing the cup does not require contact with the drinking spout.

It is also compostable and biodegrades naturally at the speed of regular paper if improperly disposed of as environmental litter.

The cups are in use in almost 20 countries, including the US, Japan and several European states.

PA