Soho Declares War On Straws

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 75 months ago
Soho Declares War On Straws

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.

Photo by emmlpop from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 02 February 2012


What nonsense!

J Griffith

How will you drink a McD's drink without a straw? Unless they redesign the cup!


straws used to be made from waxed paper


I'm sorry, but I prefer to drink from a straw than direct from a maybe dirty rim.


DISLIKE! Even more time at the bar asking for a straw after the bar person has finished serving me, SNORE!


Drinking coke without a straw = rotten teeth. 


Big Dislike!!!!!!! What about the oral infections that are transmitted through straight contact with the bar glass?????

maybe the shops and restaurants should cut back on the crap they throw out and packaging...


Or maybe we could just start carrying reusable straws?


you can buy reusable straws!

I'm sure you can probablt source them from the UK (I'll be buying the stainless steel ones - I'll probably break the glass ones.)

Scandinavian loving London

I tend to become embarrassed when I buy a drink in London -- and then they put a drinking straw in it. I give a little thought to needless littering when it happens, but mostly I regard it as highly unmanly.
I use to be polite, and let the bartender complete his ritual. Then I gently pull out the straw, put it on the desk, and feel a little sorry for the bartender that get another little thing to tidy up. -- But you have to pay some respect to the local customs.
I never leave the bar desk with that plastic rod poking in my face..

And I miss Stockholm a bit, where the bartender lift his eyebrow a little, asking the silent question: "Do you really want that silly soda straw in your drink?"