This week the Restaurant Association of Ireland released a statement calling for the banning of single-use plastic straws in restaurants and bars across the country.
“A straw, which is only used on average for 20 minutes, can take more than 200 years to break down… and often does not fully disintegrate. Other countries have taken action on this issue already. Recent reports indicate the UK Government plans to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds which has led to various companies tackling the issue head-on in advance of legislation”, claims the article.
US festivals Live Nation, Coachella, Stagecoach have all ditched the plastic straw recently, and over 60 UK festivals have promised to eliminate single-use plastic by 2021 (more here).
The Wetherspoons pub chain has taken similar action in it’s Irish outlets, which many Dublin bars are offering straws on request or paper straws.
RAI President Liam Edwards commented: “By removing plastic straws from our restaurants, I believe we can make a difference in the use of unnecessary plastic and make the Irish restaurant and hospitality industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”
It is a step in the right direction, but compared to what has been happening in the UK recently, where everyone from McDonald’s, to Pret a Manger and hotel chains are making changes, we still have a long way to go.