For years the battle against unnecessary plastic has focused on bags, but now the focus is switching to something humbler: the simple plastic straw.
A new initiative in Soho is trying to cut down on plastic waste by only giving customers a straw on request. Although the wee tubes make up just a small fraction of the total amount of plastic crap that ends up in landfill and (due to the ease with which they end up down drains) oceans, they’re an easy single-use item target that could make more of us stop and think whether we really need to use all this stuff.
So far, 18 restaurants have signed up, including Barrafina, Randall and Aubin, Wahaca and Ducksoup. And although it started in the heart of London, the message is already spreading as far as Shoreditch (Pizza East), Somerset and Berlin, where they take recycling very seriously.
Now the campaign needs to tackle a small stumbling block – McDonald’s, with its 3.5m drinks-with-straws a day – and they’ll really be onto something.