The Alchemist is the latest bar group to stop automatically serving plastic straws in its establishments, following similar announcements by Oakman Inns and the Liberation Group earlier this year.
Straws will still be available at Alchemist bars on request, but will not be served as standard.
Straws are on average used for just 20 minutes and, once disposed of, can spend several hundreds of years in a landfill site. Over the past 25 years disposable straws have routinely been one of the top 10 items found on beaches around the world during the International Coastal clean-up project.
Managing director of the Alchemist, Simon Potts, said: "Most straws are not recyclable, yet many bars and restaurants relentlessly provide these for customers, sometimes even two at a time. We want to educate and engage with our customers about the environmental impact of ditching straws, and I'm sure our customers will welcome it with open arms. Straws are still available upon request; however they will not be served as standard and this little change is going to save the Alchemist an estimated two million straws per year.
"We are absolutely focused on decreasing our environmental impact wherever possible, which is why initiatives such as ‘war on straws' are so important to us as we evolve as a brand. And we hope other operators follow in our footsteps."
Established in 2009, the bar and casual dining operator has 10 sites across UK city centres including Chester, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle. The Alchemist is backed by Palatine Private Equity, which supported a buy out from Living Ventures in 2015.
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