Ben & Jerry's Is Ditching Single-Use Plastic Straws And Spoons

It's the last straw for single-use plastics at Ben & Jerry's. The socially conscious ice cream company is moving to wooden spoons and paper straws. And it's happening in time for a major ice cream holiday.

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By April 9, 2019, Free Cone Day, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops will complete the transition to wooden spoons, the company said in a statement, noting that paper straws will be available by request. Plastic straws have been available by request only since August, with many locations already offering non-plastic straws.

And more changes are coming. By the end of 2020, Ben & Jerry's shops will find an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups, and plastic lids, the company says.

"In the short term, eliminating plastic straws and spoons is not going to save the world," Jenna Evans, global sustainability manager for Ben & Jerry's, said in a statement. "But it's a good start toward changing expectations. We're committed to exploring additional options to further reduce the use of disposable items."

Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops currently hand out 2.5 million plastic straws and 30 million plastic spoons a year. According to the statement, if all the plastic spoons used by Ben & Jerry's in the U.S. 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," Evans said. "We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of single-use plastic."

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