London restaurants opt for drinking straws ban to cut plastic waste
London restaurants, bars and cafes have joined forces to launch the UK's first 'Straw Wars' campaign in a bid to cut down on the use of plastic drinking straws by customers.
The initiative has been launched in response to growing concerns over the huge number of straws - the figures run into billions - discarded every year and their impact on landfill and marine pollution.
Organisers of the campaign claim that in the UK alone, an average of 3.5m McDonald's drinks are sold with plastic straws every day. The idea behind the scheme is for food outlets to ban straws completely or only provide one when a customer asks for it.
London's Soho is the first community hub to take part in the initiative which organisers hope to roll out into other cities and areas if proved successful.
A statement released by the organisers said: "By only providing plastic straws when requested, we can significantly reduce the disposal of single use plastic. Such a simple action will not only save on overheads, it will have incredibly positive and far reaching effects on our planet."
It is thought that around 60-80% of marine debris is made up of plastic waste. Scientists estimate that every year at least 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they entangle themselves in, or ingest plastic pollution.