The Government’s consultation on the impact of plastic straws and drink stirrers on the environment closes today (3 December).
It was open for six weeks and followed Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement of a future ban at a Commonwealth heads of government summit held in April.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said it supported a ban, while UKHospitality said it believed a mandatory ban would be problematic if introduced in the intended time frame.
Time frame concerns
The ban would come into force between October 2019 and October 2020, subject to the views collected during consultation, the Government said.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the body was “fully supportive of measures to cut plastic waste”, but that the quick advent of a ban could be difficult for businesses.
She said: “Imposing a ban in such a short space of time may undermine measures already in place and increase burdens and costs.
“Hospitality businesses are leaders in reducing or eliminating the use of single-use plastics. This proactive work is to be encouraged and we support our members in their efforts to reduce waste."
The BBPA said it felt a ban should be across the sector - including retail - and cover all types of plastic straws, to ensure consistency.
Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is important we all do our bit to reduce plastic waste and that is why we welcome the Government’s proposals to ban plastic straws and stirrers.
“To help pubs reduce their plastic waste we have already produced guidance for licensees as well.”
Groups with accessibility needs should still be able to access plastic options from pubs, the BBPA said.
UKH echoed this sentiment. “It should also be remembered that many of our customers have specific needs for requiring a straw, and a blanket ban on plastic straws could discriminate against them if alternatives are not readily available,” Nicholls said.
Many pubs and bars have removed plastic voluntarily, including the Liberation Group and Be At One.
The Morning Advertiser joined trade bodies in encouraging pubs to opt for more eco-friendly options in #TheLastStraw campaign, earlier this year.