The pub chain has revealed that the straws will be phased out across its 900 pubs in the UK and Republic of Ireland by the end of this year. From January 2018, all of the company’s pubs will use biodegradable paper straws instead.
Wetherspoon joins Liberation Group, Oakman Inns, the Alchemist, Laine Pub Company and All Bar One – all of which have banned the plastic straw in the venues for environmental reasons.
The operator said that in addition, and with immediate effect, straws will no longer be automatically added to drinks, although they remain available for customers if requested.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “These changes are part of an overall commitment from the company to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste produced.
“We believe that Wetherspoon pubgoers will welcome this.”
In April, Oakman Inns launched its Ban the Straw campaign on Earth Day, declaring “straws suck”. The company decided to ban the plastic straws due to the fact it was using 100,000 plastic straws across its 17-strong group every month.
By June, Mitchells & Butlers-owned All Bar One had followed the Oakman Inns lead and also banned the plastic straws with its #StrawsSuck campaign. Venues within its estate have either removed straws entirely or replaced them with biodegradable substitutes.
A month later, the 100-strong Liberation Group revealed it would be banning straws in its venues to help combat environmental waste.
In the same month, bar and restaurant chain the Alchemist stopped offering plastic straws in glasses at its city centre premises. By stocking far fewer straws and only giving them out on request, the chain said it was hoping to stop an estimated 2m going to landfill every year.
Earlier this month, Laine Pub Company banned the plastic straws across its 55 London and Brighton pubs.