On 24 March, more than 170 participants from across Europe took part in an online event to launch the Charter of Trust for paper drinking straws.
Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, MEP, congratulated 360° Foodservice for creating the Charter of Trust: “This shows initiative, it shows dedication to high quality and it shows, above all, respect for the European consumer. We need all of these things in Europe today.”
Asimakopoulou is a Greek member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of its influential International Trade Committee. She added: “I am most impressed by the way you, as an European industry, have responded constructively to the Single Use Plastics Directive ban [on plastics drinking straws], innovating in your product lines and adapting your manufacturing facilities. This has required great efforts and significant investment in a very short timeframe. Thank you for this and for becoming European leaders.”
The association's objective in putting together the Charter of Trust has always been to inform and help educate the marketplace about quality and safety and to promote companies and products that put compliance and safety first. Jean-Marc Novène, Chairman of the Paper Drinking Straw Supply Chain Group within 360° Foodservice, underlined that consumers clearly expect producers to be responsible companies.
"Any paper drinking straw offered for sale or use in the EU – whether made in Europe or imported – must be compliant and safe", said Novène. "Only that will ensure that the trade in paper drinking straws in the European market is honest and fair and that consumers are protected against risk."
Small and middle-sized customers do not have the capacity to take informed decisions about the quality of the paper drinking straws they are buying. Similarly, national competent authorities lack the knowledge and resources to check the compliance of imports and the compliance of products already circulating on the market.
The Charter of Trust intends to fill that information gap in the market to help identify compliant, safe products.
Companies signing up to the Charter commit to comply with all EU requirements on materials in contact with foodstuffs.
Arnaud Dufour, Quality Programme Manager at 360° Foodservice, told attendees that an internationally registered Trustmark will soon be unveiled, that will make it easier for businesses in the food service supply chain to identify compliant products.
Anne Sutton, President of 360° Foodservice, who hosted the meeting explained that 360° Foodservice is the brand new incarnation of the European trade association formerly known as Pack2Go Europe. "Our goal is to lead the responsible and sustainable evolution of the packaging and related items – like drinking straws – that are used to safely serve food and drinks in Europe”.
You can find a recording of the event here.