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Suck it up: Oakman Inns set to permanently ban straws

By Georgina Townshend , 20-Apr-2017
Last updated on 20-Apr-2017 at 11:26 GMT2017-04-20T11:26:31Z

Ban on Straws: Oakman Inns will ban straws on Earth Day
Ban on Straws: Oakman Inns will ban straws on Earth Day

Oakman Inns is launching its own permanent “ban the straw” campaign on Earth Day (22 April) declaring “straws suck”.

The decision was made due to the company using more than 100,000 plastic straws a month across its 17-strong group, which it said "became a concern”.

“Our monthly straw consumption sounds enormous, but compared to the estimated 500m straws that are used and discarded in the USA every day, it’s still a hugely dangerous and an everlasting drop in the ocean. And that is rather the point,” said CEO Peter Borg-Neal.

“It sounds ridiculous, but it is entirely accurate to say, that every plastic straw that was ever made, still exists today.

“They pollute landfills, rivers, roadsides, sewers, beaches and of course oceans and this relatively small amount that this pub group is taking out of circulation, needs to be repeated by every one of my colleagues across the hospitality industry.”

More needs to be done

On the day if customers ask for a straw, they will be offered an “eco-friendly” alternative.

Alex Ford, Oakman’s operations director, said; “From 2020, all plastic cutlery and plates will be banned in France.

“Bangladesh was the first country in the world in 2002 to ban plastic shopping bags and California banned single-use plastic bags in 2014.

“Yes, the UK has introduced a charge for plastic carrier bags and has banned microbeads, the tiny plastic balls used in cosmetics and cleaning products, but I believe we all have to do more. Because pretty soon, every fish we eat will have ingested some plastic and that will become a truly global environmental disaster that will probably be impossible to solve.”

Borg-Neal added: “At Oakman we try to live by our values every day, and we hope that those values and our commitment to sustainability means that everyone here is contributing to a better future for us all.”

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