Pub firm the Liberation Group has stopped offering plastic straws to customers out of concern for the environment.
The plastic drinking straws will be replaced by biodegradable paper straws.
The company claimed that it was the largest pub group to make such a move, phasing plastic straws out from all of its 100-strong pub estate across the Channel Islands and the West Country.
Explaining the decision, Liberation pointed out that plastic straws are made from polypropylene – a petroleum product designed to last forever. The straws are particularly harmful to marine life, with more than one million seas birds and a hundred thousand marine mammals killed by plastic waste each year.
There are more than five trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, according to a 2014 study published in a Public Library of Science journal.
Marine experts fear there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, measured by weight, according to a factsheet from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-based charity working to end waste in the economy.
As part of Plastic Free July, the Liberation Group is supporting the local “Straws Suck!” campaign. The campaign involves stopping the use of plastic straws and switching to biodegradable alternatives. Liberation pubs will be encouraging their customers to join the campaign and cut plastic waste through social media and on its pub blackboards with the #refusethestraw hashtag.
Jayson Perfect, managing director – Pubs and Inns said: “Our pubs use millions of straws each year, so we see the switch really benefiting the environment. Plastic straws are a blight on our coastlines, marine life and our oceans. This is a problem which is entirely avoidable. As an Island company who supports many charitable organisations, I feel we also have a moral obligation to support helping marine mammal life where possible.”
Liberation Group’s move follows a similar one by Oakman Inns and Restaurants, which banned plastic straws in April this year. It also offers eco-friendly alternatives.
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