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15 May 2018

Gather & Gather says ‘no!’ to plastic straws

  • First UK-wide contract caterer to ban plastic straws with immediate effect
  • MD Allister Richards urges other contract caterers to follow suit
  • Mitie’s catering business supports #thelaststraw

Gather & Gather has today banned plastic straws from all of its 276 catering sites across the UK and Ireland. This marks the latest stage of its campaign to remove single-use plastics across its business, as part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Gather & Gather is the first major contract caterer to publicly announce its removal of all plastic straws, preventing tens of thousands of straws from going to landfill each year. Paper straws will be provided as an environmentally responsible alternative to customers, but only on request.

Over 18 months, Gather & Gather has already halved its consumption of plastic straws, with the number of paper straws overtaking the number of plastic straws used for the first time in January 2017.

The war against straws follows Gather & Gather’s highly successful ‘Save our Serviettes’ campaign last year. 'Save our Serviettes' saw the full introduction of 100% recycled napkins, as well as a like-for-like reduction in serviette waste of 6.69 million napkins over one year. The campaign won the Best Waste Prevention Project award at the waste2zero awards in 2017.

In April 2018, Gather & Gather was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s 3-star award, for its work within sourcing and the environment. 

Allister Richards, Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said:

“We are absolutely committed to reducing single-use plastic wherever possible and waging a war on straws is our latest stand. In our industry some of the biggest sustainability challenges are centred around waste. We want to promote best practice and call on other contract caterers to follow our lead to help save thousands of plastic straws from going to landfill each year.”

Notes to editors

About Gather & Gather

Launched in April 2013, Gather & Gather offers restaurant, café, hospitality and event services to a range of clients across a broad spectrum of sectors including media, technology, legal, financial services and retail.

Employing 2,700 people, Gather & Gather has become one of the UK’s leading workplace catering experts, connecting customers to brilliant, on-trend food and drink, a market-leading wellness programme and an award-winning suite of technology. Gather & Gather is part of Mitie Group plc.

About Mitie

Founded in 1987, Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. We offer a range of specialist services including Security, Engineering Services, Catering, Cleaning, Pest Control, Landscaping, Energy and Property Consultancy, Property Maintenance, and Custody Support Services.

Mitie employs 53,000 people across the country, looking after a large, diverse, blue-chip customer base, from banks and retailers, to hospitals, schools and government offices. We take care of our customers’ people and buildings, by delivering the basics brilliantly and by deploying advanced technology. We are pioneers in the Connected Workspace, using smart analytics to provide valuable insight and deliver efficiencies to create outstanding work environments for customers.