The final straw – single-use plastic
Single-use plastic straws are impacting the environment taking centuries to break down (cc) Pexels
Prime Minister,Theresa May, has announced her 25 year plan aimed at eliminating plastic waste. One problems is the environmental impact of single-use plastic straws, Timberlake reports
Many restaurants including JD Weatherspoon, Pizza Express and Wagamama have all announced that they are banning the use of plastic straws in order to help the environment. Now, when serving drinks, they offer a biodegradable paper alternative. It comes amid rising concern about the problem of plastic waste in the oceans, harming and killing wildlife and entering the food chain. The problem was highlighted most recently in the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary which showed a distressed turtle swimming with a plastic straw up its nose.
It is estimated that the UK and US alone throw away around 550 million plastic straws every day, with each straw taking centuries to break down. Scotland has taken a step to reduce the impact of plastic straws by banning them in their parliament’s own café’s, bars and restaurant. 4000 plastic straws were being used every year within the building but now paper straws will be available upon request.
As it is ‘Go Green Week‘ across the university, I went out to investigate the use of plastic straws on campus, with the student union bar stopping the use completely. JLDN reporter Saf Bennington went out to see if students have noticed the impact of chains stopping the use of straws.