As of December 2017, the group will no longer be purchasing plastic straws and plastic stirrers. A biodegradable alternative will be available to customers who specifically ask for and need a straw.
Plastic straws and stirrers are made from polypropylene or polystyrene – petroleum products designed to last forever. Both are particularly harmful to marine life and add to the 8 million tonnes of plastic waste that currently leaks into our 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 throw away then plastic refuse in our oceans is set to outweigh fish by 2050.
Dan Shotton, managing director of Redcomb Pubs Ltd says;
“Our pubs use thousands of straws and plastic stirrers each year, and by removing them from our business we will be positively contributing to the worldwide efforts to help reduce plastic waste and it’s negative impact on our coastlines, marine life and oceans. All too often straws and stirrers are added to drinks without customers even asking for them. This simple act has devastating implications for up to 200 years, the time it takes for plastic straws and stirrers to biodegrade – a far cry from the relatively short time it takes for you to finish your drink. Whilst we will be purchasing biodegradable alternatives for our customers that genuinely need a straw, our actions and those taken by other bars and restaurants will hopefully go a long way to help raise awareness and encourage more customers and businesses to get behind the ‘no straws’ campaign.”