It doesn’t take a lot to go green, but when a small step is taken by one of the world’s biggest fast food franchises, that’s a move that could spell the beginning of change for the entire F&B industry. In an unprecedented move for a local fast food company, all 84 Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants in Singapore completely stopped serving beverages with plastic caps and straws on Wednesday, 20th June.
Says KFC Singapore General Manager Lynette Lee: “We’re always looking out for ways to introduce new things phase by phase. We’re not crusaders; removing straws is a relatively simple step, but we try to do what we can.”
In all honesty, she’s being incredibly humble. While speaking to her at the iconic KFC Kallang Stadium, we learnt that this initiative has been in the works for months, with the counter staff trained to explain to each customer carefully the rationale behind this new move when probed. The straw dispensers, a regular sight at just about any fast food restaurant, have completely disappeared from sight, and customers seemed to have no qualms drinking their beverages straight from the cup’s rim.
Says Lynette: “When we first introduced serving our food in reusable plastic baskets instead of disposable paper boxes, people initially took a while to get used to it, and some even threw away the plastic baskets. But now, it’s become something so natural. Same goes for the removal of the straws – though we’ve received some flak online, we’e also received plenty of support from netizens supporting the move who understand that a simple move like that could have a big impact.”
KFC estimates that the No Straws Initiative will see a reduction of 17.8 metric tons of single-use plastics in a year. But this is not the first time KFC has made efforts to reduce their carbon footprint – in December 2016, paper boxes were phased out for dine-in meals, replaced with the aforementioned reusable plastic baskets, while in early 2017, KFC introduced recyclable paper packaging for their breakfast platters and porridge bowls in place of foam packaging for their KFC a.m. menu. As a result of these initiatives, close to 2.5 million paper boxes and over 700,000 sets of foam packaging were reduced in a span of only 6 months.
As we took bites of the newly released KFC Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Pockett Bandito Trio, Lynette concluded: “At KFC Singapore, food is our hero, and we’re always striving to keep the brand relevant, whether it’s connecting on social media or collaborating with delivery companies like food panda. And like how we will continue to innovate on our food, we will continue to review and roll out more eco-conscious initiatives in the years to come.”
For more information on KFC’s continual sustainability efforts, please visit their website