World

London's Soho restaurants wage war on plastic straws

An environmental campaign called Straw Wars is encouraging owners in London's Soho community to either ban plastic straws or provide one only when a customer requests it.

Eateries' Straw Wars campaign aims to cut down on waste

Restaurants in London's Soho area are aiming to cut down on the number of staws given to customers. (Alastair Grant/Associated Press )

Several bars, restaurants and hotels in London's entertainment district are waging war on plastic drinking straws.

An environmental campaign called Straw Wars is trying to reduce plastic waste by encouraging restaurateurs in London's Soho community to either ban plastic straws or provide them only by request.

So far, 32 establishments have signed up for the initiative.

Billions of straws are thrown out every year and end up in landfills and oceans, according to the campaign's website.

"This is extremely detrimental to the environment, as plastics can’t biodegrade, they last indefinitely — breaking down into smaller pieces, feeding into the food chain and potentially ending up on our dinner plates. Not ideal," the website says.

Jamie Poulton, a campaign leader and restaurant owner, told the Guardian that Straw Wars aims to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste.

"If we're able to raise awareness with Straw Wars and the work that Soho has done towards a cleaner environment, then the next step would be a move towards resolving the current waste collection and disposal issues in Soho," Poulton said. "This is a very ambitious project, but will benefit local businesses, customers and the environment."

now