A STRAWesome story at 4 Pines Brewing Company
Locals in Manly and across the Northern Beaches love a beer at any of 4 Pines Brewing Company’s venues. Normally you wouldn’t drink beer with a straw but 4 Pines also serves beer-inspired cocktails and other drinks that would traditionally be enjoyed with a straw. That is, until their venue managers and “Sustainability Lover”, Kiera Murphy, asked themselves if they really need to provide straws for their customers at all!
At first, they tried to switch from plastic to a locally sourced paper straw. For a quality paper straw, they were spending much more than they had been spending on plastic straws. “This wasn’t a triple bottom line win,” Kiera says. So, they went back to the drawing board and decided that the best way forward was to just ban straws altogether.
To make sure they don’t ruin the customer experience for all people, they always keep locally sourced paper straws on hand for people that require them for medical reasons, but otherwise, drinks can be sipped plastic and waste-free from all four venues across the Northern Beaches. But was it too risky?
Manly Brew Pub Venue Manager and Beer Lover, Luke Atkins, explains that 4 Pines’ cocktails “are designed so that they can be enjoyed without a straw.” Luke adds that, “When we explain the harm straws do to the environment to our customers, the overwhelming majority of people are stoked that we’ve banned them. It’s a great conversation starter that helps us explain our commitment to environmental and social responsibility.”
In October 2017, 4 Pines hosted a screening of the movie, Straws, at their Brookvale Truck Bar and received so much support from the community. Kiera explains that 4 Pines’ staff know that our decision will benefit our local, natural treasures and marine life. But seeing everyone come together to educate themselves and raise awareness really inspires our staff to be advocates every time someone asks them why we don’t have straws. We know the community has our back and agrees that it’s not sustainable for Australians to waste 2.9 billion straws per year.” Luke adds that, “plastic straws are a great example of a costly and unnecessary waste product in the hospitality industry.”
Since making the switch, 4 Pines has saved approximately 140,000 plastic straws from going to landfill or washing into our oceans. This has also saved them over $300 per year. By not even using paper straws, automatically, they save $6700 per year. By reducing a single use waste product, 4 Pines gets closer to their goal of running close to zero waste hospitality venues.
4 Pines Newport Public House Venue Manager (also a Beer Lover), Chris Owen, sums it up by saying, “I live, work, swim, and surf on the Northern Beaches. Me, my staff, and our customers live in such an amazing part of the world and we want it to stay that way. That’s why we banned the straw.”
4 Pines have also been repurposing their malt bags and plastic ginger beer buckets from the brewing process and donating them to beach clean groups and initiatives across the Northern Beaches and beyond. If you’d like to join a beach clean, check out these local groups: