The growing campaign against the use of plastic straws in bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs has been backed by the industry’s trade body, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).
It is encouraging all its members as well as the wider sector to phase out and ban plastic straws which are not bio-degradable and are particularly harmful to marine life.
It follows moves by an increasing number of bar and pub operators to stop using plastic straws including Be At One, Mitchells & Butlers’ All Bar One, JD Wetherspoon, Experimental Group, The New World Trading Company’s The Botanist, Oakman Inns and Redcomb Pubs.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A number of the ALMR’s members have already begun to phase out the use of plastic straws: a sign that the sector is acknowledging the issue and ready to lead the way on reducing harmful waste.
“Additionally, we have removed them from our own industry and parliamentary events and will continue to be proactive in a move away from the use of plastic straws.
“The Government has already outlined its intention to tackle the use of single-use plastic and the issue is one that many members of the public feel passionately about. There is clearly an appetite for businesses to investigate sustainable alternatives to plastic straws.
“The ALMR will be working with the British Institute of Innkeeping to promote alternatives to plastics and encourage more of our members to follow the lead of businesses like All Bar One, Be At One and JD Wetherspoon in ending the use of plastic straws and tackling waste that does environmental damage.”
The ALMR’s membership includes operators of over 23,000 pubs, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafés including Novus, Stonegate Pub Company, The Deltic Group, Glendola Leisure, Beds & Bars, Casual Dining Group, Carluccio’s, TGI Fridays, Wahaca and Wagamama.
This week, leading drinks groups Diageo and Pernod Ricard voiced their support for moves away from plastic straws and stirrers, stating their commitment not to use them at their own events.
Vanessa Wright, group vice president for sustainability and responsibility at Pernod Ricard, said: “The history of Pernod Ricard and our values are intrinsically linked to social responsibility and care – it is a part of us, and the creation of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute more than 50 years ago is a concrete example.
“We know that this type of non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and for us it’s crucial that we play our role in helping to prevent any further damage.”
David Croft, global sustainable development director at Diageo, said: “Diageo is committed to minimising our environmental impact and we are, like many of our consumers, increasingly concerned about the negative environmental impact associated with the irresponsible disposal of plastic straws.
“We are therefore committed to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from all our offices, events, promotions, advertising and marketing globally – and will advocate the same to our partners and customers.
“When the use of straws is important to the enjoyment of our brands we will only use reusable, compostable or biodegradable alternatives.”
Yesterday, London’s daily paper, the Evening Standard, launched its own campaign, The Last Straw, aimed at both the trade and consumers to rid the capital’s bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés of plastic straws.
December 18, 2017: Bar and pub company Redcomb Pubs has become the latest to stop offering single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers in all of its sites.
October 24, 2017: Be At One has replaced plastic straws with an environmentally friendly alternative for all drinks across its bars.
July 26, 2017: Bar and restaurant group The Alchemist is to stop automatically serving drinks with plastic straws across all of its sites.