You do your bit for the environment don't you? Recycling, reducing waste, reusing where you can rather than just throwing things away. But have you thought about straws?
I bet most of you haven't and yet ditching straws can be one of the simplest and most effective "green" moves you can make today – not to mention the money you'll save.
Those cheery brightly coloured tubes you pop in a customer's cola or cocktail may seem innocuous enough but they are toxic for the environment.
Did you know, for example, that 500 million plastic straws are used in the US every single day? That's enough to go around the planet two and a half times. No one seems to have the figures for the UK but you can bet it's just as horrifying.
Straws and stirrers are among the top 10 marine plastic debris and are doing the most damage – because of their size they are eaten by fish, and marine animals get tangled in them.
In 2015 a video of scientists trying to remove a straw embedded in the nose of a sea turtle went viral. I don't advise you watch it, it's really upsetting.
It's no surprise then that there's a drive to raise awareness around the issue and even have them banned – which isn't so far-fetched considering France will ban all plastic cups, plates and utensils entirely from 2020.
Of course some pubs and bars are already acting to ditch the straw, including the All Bar One chain, which this week announced it was to end plastic straw usage across all of its bars nationwide in a campaign called #strawsuck.
In London where licensees and restauranteurs in Soho launched "straw wars" (www.strawwars.org) as far back as 2012. They are proving that the solution is so simple:
- Offer but don't automatically put straws in every drink
- Sell reusable straws (yes, they are a thing) and/or offer to wash those that customers bring in
So please, make this your #LastStraw.