Bar and restaurant group The Alchemist is to stop automatically serving drinks with plastic straws across all of its sites, saving an estimated two million that go into landfill each year.
The company is this month joining movement by bars, pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs around the world to ditch the hard-to-recycle single-use straws, which do not bio-degrade.
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.
Simon Potts, managing director of the 10-strong The Alchemist group, 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 premium bar and casual dining operator has 10 The Alchemist sites across UK town and city centres including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool Newcastle upon Tyne, Chester and Alderley Edge in Cheshire