Businesses across Greater Manchester have pledged to ditch the single use plastic straw in order to help the planet.
This is part of a campaign launched by Final Straw MCR, which asks bars, restaurants and other establishments in the area to look for more planet-friendly alternatives.
Businesses and individuals have the opportunity to take the #plasticfreepledge vowing to limit its use of plastic straws.
Katherine Waugh, who studies Humanitarian and Conflict Response at the University of Manchester, launched the Final Straw campaign.
Katherine said: “For the past few months I have been trying to cut down on on my own plastic use after learning about it’s horrible impact on the environment because of the fact it’s all around forever.
“Then from that I began to think about how I could have a bigger impact by encouraging other people to use less plastic.”
She saw that there were many campaigns like this across the country, but none specific to Greater Manchester.
This is not a new problem but is gaining momentum after David Attenborough highlighted the dangers of plastic waste in our oceans in his BBC1 series Blue Planet.
There are 550 million straws used every day, for an average of 20 minutes each. Every one of these straws will stay on the earth for between 200 and 600 years.
Pub giant Wetherspoons have stopped using plastic straws across its 900 pubs in the UK.
That includes all of its Manchester pubs – such as The Waterhouse, The Moon Under The Water and The Seven Stars.
Popular Northern Quarter bar and rib joint Cane and Grain have also taken steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
They now keep straws behind the bar and only provide them to customers if they are asked.
Brad Turner, a 22-year-old bartender at Cane and Grain, said: “Working in an industry which is accountable for so much plastic waste, it’s one of the first and easiest steps you can take into reducing that.
“And I’m sure there will be many more steps taken in coming years but it’s great that there are so many bars already getting and wanting to get involved.”
Every single use straw is used for an average of only 20 minutes, but will be on the earth FOREVER. Millions are thrown away every day and are poisoning our planet. Help us make #Manchester straw free- we are asking businesses to ditch the single use plastic straw. #strawssuck pic.twitter.com/KywldGFUfm
— Final Straw Manchester (@FinalStrawMCR) February 5, 2018
Final Straw MCR have a strategy in place to encourage local businesses to get on board.
Katherine said: “What we do is approach businesses with information about the impact plastic straws have on the environment, and then provide them with information and discounts on alternatives, such as paper, steel or bamboo straws.”
She went on to say: “Our aim is pretty simple really, to get as many businesses and individuals on board as possible and get rid of as many plastic straws as possible.
“In general, we’d just like for people to be more aware about their plastic use and to think about the impact their decisions could have on the environment.
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👉 https://t.co/4HAxhsyd2U #PassOnPlastic #LessOceanPlastic pic.twitter.com/Ab9U6T5pCF
— Less Plastic (@LessPlasticUK) February 15, 2018
Here are some other local businesses that are already on board with the Final Straw MCR campaign.
Albert’s Chop House, City Centre
The Botanist, City Centre
The Boundary Cafe-Bar, Heaton Mersey
Cafe at the Museum, University of Manchester campus
Craft Cafe, Chorlton
The Dockyard, Salford
Takk, Northern Quarter
Sam’s Chop House, City Centre
Solomon’s Cafe & Bar, Withington
Mr. Thomas’s Chop House, City Centre
Wahaca, City Centre
For more information, visit the Final Straw MCR website.