London restaurants launch ‘straw wars’ campaign
"Many plastic straws on beaches are likely to come from street drains, often via rivers and sewers. Plastic is a huge problem for our marine wildlife and makes up over 60% of all the litter we find on UK beaches, particularly single use plastic such as bags. Plastic straws make up a small proportion of all this litter, but if everyone took responsibility to dispose of their litter correctly in the first place it would help massively."
- Emma Snowden, litter campaigns officer with the Marine Conservation Society
Restaurants, bars ands hotels have joined forces to try and reduce the routine and 'unnecessary' use of plastic drinking straws.
They disappear in thousands from fast food and takeway outlets every day and, discarded in similar numbers, have become a litter pickers' nightmare and a scourge of Britain's beaches. Now some of London's top restaurants, bars ands hotels have joined forces to try and reduce the routine and "unnecessary" use of plastic drinking straws, urging the entire hospitality and fast food sector to follow its initiative.
The restaurants behind the launch of the so-called "straw wars" campaign are to stop automatically handing out plastic straws to customers, and only hand them out when requested. Plastic straws can, theoretically, be recycled. But the campaign organisers argue that they rarely are recycled by individuals eating fast food "on the move" and that there is rarely any dedicated waste collection for restaurants, pubs and bars, which means they end up in landfill. Westminster City council, for example does not accept plastic straws for recycling from corporate users.