The 750,000 straws used each year will be replaced by environmentally friendly alternatives from February 2018. It follows a scheme which saw the company replace plastic cotton buds in guest amenity packs with paper-based ones.

Malmaison Hotel du Vin director of procurement Simon Bardsley said: “We cannot escape the consequences of throwing away vast quantities of plastic coupled with the ever environmentally conscious customer – this was a simple choice for us as a business and something we have been reviewing internally for some time.”

Final straw

Malmaison is the latest hospitality firm taking action to tackle the problem of global plastic pollution. UK high-street pub chain Wetherspoons will remove plastic straws from the end of this year – a move it claims will stop 70 million straws finding their way into landfill or oceans.

In last month’s Autumn Budget, the Government launched a consultation on how a tax system of charges could reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste created by containers such as packaging and polystyrene takeaway boxes.

While the initial reaction to that announcement has been broadly positive, some experts have outlined scepticism about the effectiveness of taxation as a way to drive behaviour change on waste.

Defra is also currently consulting businesses on how a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles could work in England, after it was confirmed that Scotland would introduce its own scheme earlier this year.

Last week, supermarket giants Iceland and the Co-op gave their backing to the introduction of a nationwide bottle deposit return scheme. 

George Ogleby

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