At the end of 2017 we decided to stop offering plastic straws and plastic stirrers to customers in a bid to help reduce plastic pollution and fight environmental waste. We also committed to stop purchasing any new stock and have instead moved to biodegradable versions.
As a busy pub we get through hundreds of plastic straws and stirrers every year – they have become commonplace in so many drinks, popped into the glass often before a customer has even asked for them. But, the shocking fact is that whilst it may only take a few minutes for you to drink your drink and the straw to be discarded, the plastic can hang around in the environment for up to 200 years.
Plastic straws and stirrers are made from polypropylene or polystyrene – and they’re built to last. Particularly harmful to marine life, they contribute to the 8 million tonnes of plastic waste that currently leaks into our seas and oceans each year, killing more than one million seabirds and a hundred thousand marine mammals. Studies estimate that unless there is a significant shift in the amount of plastic that we all use and throw away then plastic refuse in our oceans is set to outweigh fish by 2050.
Those sort of figures just really hit home for us, and whilst we all love a drink, I’m sure we all agree that drink shouldn’t cost the earth. So that spurred us on to join the #laststraw campaign, removing plastic straws from our business to help reduce our plastic waste and the negative impact that plastic has on our coastlines, marine life and oceans. It’s a simple step and one that’s gathering momentum, with more and more pubs and restaurants getting behind the ‘no straws’ campaign every day. It may not save the world, but it does represent a really positive step that we can easily take to make a difference – and we’re asking our customers to help make that difference with us.