The news from Redcomb comes against the backdrop of a wave of public support for initiatives to cut plastic pollution following the popularity of the BBC’s seven-part series Blue Planet II.
These include Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove outlining plans to investigate plastic deposit schemes in this year’s Autumn Budget.
Straws and stirrers are made from polypropylene or polystyrene – petroleum products that are designed to stand the test of time – can be particularly harmful to marine life and add to the 8m tonnes of plastic waste dumped in our oceans every year, killing more than 1m seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals.
Studies indicate that plastic refuse in our oceans could outnumber fish by the year 2050 if we continue to throw away plastics at the current rate.
Redcomb Pubs managing director Dan Shotton said:“Our pubs use thousands of straws and plastic stirrers each year and, by removing them from our business, we will be positively contributing to the worldwide efforts to help reduce plastic waste and its negative impact on our coastlines, marine life and oceans.
“All too often, straws and stirrers are added to drinks without customers even asking for them. This simple act has devastating implications for up to 200 years, the time it takes for plastic straws and stirrers to biodegrade - a far cry from the relatively short time it takes for you to finish your drink."
Shotton added: “While we will be purchasing biodegradable alternatives for our customers that genuinely need a straw, our actions and those taken by other bars and restaurants will hopefully go a long way to help raise awareness and encourage more customers and businesses to get behind the ‘no straws’ campaign.”
Redcomb Pubs comprises a growing portfolio of urban and rural pubs across London and surrounding counties, including the Bickley in Chislehurst, Kent, the Cherry Tree in East Dulwich, south-east London, and the Old Shades in Whitehall, central London.