Soggy paper straws are the new normal in pubs today.
In efforts to reduce single use plastic in the UK, a majority of pubs across the country are now providing customers with paper straws only.
This comes after the UK Government launched its plan to ban the distribution of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds, in October 2018.
There is an estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, which is having detrimental effects on both sea mammals and the environment.
Over 100,000 sea mammals have died after becoming trapped in, and consuming, plastic.
In the recent World Economic Forum 2019, the environment was a hot topic. Sir David Attenborough warned; “The Garden of Eden is no more” (The Guardian, 19 Jan 2019).
So how are Lincoln’s local pubs and cafes helping to solve the plastic crisis?
Ian Sievwright, general manager at the Lion and Snake pub, says: ” We currently recycle 76.21% waste, with the remaining going to general waste. However, all of the leftover waste goes to energy recovery.”
Marston’s Brewery is the operator of Lincoln pubs, the Lion and Snake and the Magna Carta. The brewery does not put any of their business’ waste to landfill. The Lion and Snake send all food waste to an anaerobic digestion, a system that converts food waste into renewable energy and compost.
Mr Sievwright also said:”All our straws are made from recycled shells which massively helps us reduce our plastic waste”.
The Lion and Snake are not only working on ways to reduce or renew waste.
Energy reduction is another factor heavily focused on by the pub. LED lights are used throughout the facility and PIR (passive infrared) sensor lights are used at the back of the house. LED lights consume 80% less energy than standard incandescent lighting.
Stokes High Bridge Cafe is another well-known Lincoln business, that is helping to protect the environment.
The cafe began to use paper straws long before the ‘stop sucking’ project started. They invest in products that are recyclable and reusable including refillable bottles, water filters and recyclable take away cups.
As with the Lion and Snake, Stokes uses LED lighting throughout their entire building to reduce energy consumption.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said back in October last year: “I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more.”