Saving the Environment: Fast food chain in South Africa ditches plastic straws
In South Africa, a fast food chain has removed plastic straws from over nine hundred of its outlets across the country. Now, an exhibition is being held, where all the discarded plastic straws from the fast food chain are on display. CGTN's Yolisa Njamela reports.
The announcement of the removal of the plastic straws by the local chicken outlet forms part of a new global sustainability commitment from the business sector, that all plastic-based packaging items will be recoverable or reusable by 2025.
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. It's all in the name of contributing to saving the environment.
And those straws are now here - at the Origins Centre at Wits University in a form of an exhibition.
DR TAMMY HODGSKISS CURATOR, ORIGINS CENTRE, WITS UNIVERSITY "This is something very different for origin centre, an exhibition about KFC getting rid of plastic straws. They're moving from plastic straws to paper straws and they thought of making this an important event, preserving the last plastic straw and preserving it in our pillars we have archaeologically and stratigraphically that was the age that we've now forgotten. There's two exhibitions that are made out of plastic straws, one symbolizing a wave of plastic straws. All the plastic straws that find a way to the ocean and then another one - a beautiful tree that's made out of plastic straws."
YOLISA NJAMELA JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA "According to the United Nations, around eight million tons of plastic end up in the sea every year. That's the equivalent of a truck-load of rubbish being dumped into the ocean every minute."
So this local chicken outlet is helping to eliminate at least 60 million plastic straws a year.
DR TAMMY HODGSKISS CURATOR, ORIGINS CENTRE, WITS UNIVERSITY "So and you just think that's one fast food chain, how many plastic straws are being produced in South Africa every year. So getting rid of those 60 million plastic straws from KFC is a big thing. So to make, encourage other outlets and other producers, food producers to move to paper straws rather."
While plastic has many valuable uses, humanity has become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic - with severe environmental consequences.
But the African continent is not sitting idle. According to the United Nations, within the last four years in Africa, more than 58 percent of the African countries have in some way banned plastic use.
And these straws that formulate this display will also be disposed off responsibly after the exhibition. Yolisa Njamela, CGTN, Johannesburg, South Africa.