TACKLING PLASTIC STRAW CONSUMPTION IN SINGAPORE: A FACT BASE OF STRAW USAGE & ATTITUDES TOWARDS ALTERNATIVES
June 5, 2018
2.2 million straws are consumed in Singapore every day. More than 80% of consumers are willing to use sustainable alternatives. This report reviews plastic straw consumption and attitudes towards change in Singapore.
The Final Straw: Tackling plastic straw consumption in Singapore
AlphaBeta, The Final Straw and the Cyan Project released a publication today (“The Final Straw: Tackling plastic straw consumption in Singapore”), based on analytical work and an extensive survey of over 260 people based in Singapore to provide a fact base on plastic straw consumption in Singapore and attitudes towards possible solutions to reduce plastic straw use.
Among the key findings:
People in Singapore use an estimated 2.2 million straws per day. If laid end-to-end, Singapore’s daily plastic straw consumption would cover the coastline of Singapore more than twice over.
People use plastic straws primarily because they come with the drink they purchase. 62% of respondents indicated that this was one of the most important reasons for consuming plastic straws.
Consumers are willing to change. More than 80% of people in Singapore would be willing to go without a straw or use an alternative: 84% of people in Singapore would be willing to go without a straw, 81% would be willing to use an alternative to a plastic straw.
There is an incentive for food & drink outlets to change. 86% of consumers would feel positively about businesses offering sustainable alternatives to plastic straws. Almost all survey respondents, regardless of venue, said they would be willing to go without a straw or use an alternative to plastic. Consumers would be most open to going without entirely at restaurants, whilst at food courts they would still want to use an alternative.
There are simple steps that businesses can take to change. Businesses can conduct an audit of how many plastic straws they are using to quickly understand the scale of their impact and assess whether their customers would prefer to use an alternative or go without entirely.
“Plastic waste is a huge issue, harming and killing marine life, taking up precious landfill space and contributing to climate change” said Jonathan Tostevin, CEO at The Final Straw. “This research is a great step forward in providing us with a fact base so we can understand the extent of the problem in Singapore. It’s also great to hear that consumers are ready for change. They’re sending a clear message to food & drink outlets to reduce plastic straws usage or provide sustainable alternatives”.
The analysis is based on an extensive online survey of 261 consumers in Singapore. Findings from the survey reflect the demographics of the sample matched Singapore’s overall demographics (in terms of age, race and income). It is supported by analytical research of the environmental impact of plastic straws, based on local and international research.
About the authors
This report has been prepared by AlphaBeta, a strategy and economics advisory firm, in conjunction with two social enterprises (The Final Straw and the Cyan Project).
AlphaBeta is a strategy advisory business serving clients across globally from offices in Singapore, Sydney and Canberra. Our team of advisors are experts in both strategy and economics who partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to identify the forces shaping their markets and develop practical plans to create prosperity and wellbeing. To learn more visit www.alphabeta.com.
The Final Straw is a social enterprise working with cafes and bars in Singapore to reduce plastic waste. They provide reusable straws as sustainable alternatives to plastic. All profits are donated to beach clean-ups in South-East Asia. To learn more visit www.thefinalstraw.co
The Cyan Project is a social enterprise that aims to provide sustainable consumer products alternatives, such as reusable cups, and solutions to businesses to target plastic waste.