Britain’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants get through tens of millions of plastic drinking straws every year, with the huge majority of them going to landfill. According to waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk, the plastic in single-use drinking straws takes centuries to decompose, causing problems both at land and at sea where plastic debris is a menace to life. BusinessWaste spokesperson Mark Hall said:
“A plastic straw has a lifespan of around 20 minutes, and then it’s thrown away. More often than not, it ends up in general waste and landfill.”
Their solution is that we should treat single-use drinking straws the same as single-use plastic bags, and charge 5p per straw. “We don’t need to invent anything new. We don’t need to invest money in more advanced products. We just need to change our way of thinking,” says Hall.
But will people think the same way about this as they do about plastic bags? Will we see people bringing their own straws to pubs? And then taking them away again? Something to ask students in school.