Monday 09-10-2017 - 13:57
You’ve probably already heard that many bars and restaurants are joining the global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from our landfills, streams, oceans and beaches.
Before reading on, please note, many disabled students need a bendy plastic straw in order to independently consume fluids. Please ensure that you have a stock of bendy plastic single use straws behind the bar, so that if requested, they can be given to those that need them. We advise putting a sign up on the bar to make sure that disabled students know that they are available. Do not attempt to police who has access to plastic straws. Removing access to plastic straws may make you liable under the Equality Act 2010.
Your students’ union may have already joined the ever-growing campaign but if not, join today – it’s The Last Straw!
Here’s some reasons why straws suck and what you can do to help…
- 500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone – that’s 175 billion a year filtering into landfills and littering our waterways and oceans
- They are used for an average of 20 minutes, but their effect lasts a lifetime. Extreme waste for minimal convenience!
- Thousands of seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles die every year when they ingest or get entangled in plastic pollution – 80% of which comes from the land!
How can you help?
- Request ‘no straw’ when visiting bars and restaurants and ask your customers if they really need that straw with their G&T.
- Spread the word – We've created a selection of assets that you can use to promote the campaign in your outlets on social media and on your websites
- If you really can’t do without…there’s lots of compostable or reusable options on the market as an alternative to single-use plastic products and put them behind the counter so only bar / catering staff have access to them. Here’s some recommended suppliers that provide compostable and reusable straws:
0844 844 4300
- PSPM0050 - Paper Straw 20cm - Mixed Colours 6mm bore
- PSBIO001 - 8" Biodegradable Green Bendy Straw
Cheyenne Owen - 0191 515 5009
- PINK & WHITE PAPER STRAW 8" -12995
- PAPER GREEN STRIPE STRAW 8" - F90097
- PAPER BAMBOO STRAWS 8" - F90099
- 5mm PLA GREEN STRIPE STRAW - SS05-GS
- 7mm PLA GREEN STRIPE STRAW - SS07-GS
- And finally, sign the pledge to stop using single-use plastic straws
As both outlet managers/ staff and consumers, you have the power to drive meaningful change. Phasing out single-use plastics – where possible – in our day-to-day lives by taking a zero-tolerance approach to items such as straws, plastic bottles and bags is the first step.
Stand up for sustainability in your union by taking part in Green Impact Students’ Unions 2017, #TheLastStaw can be just one step of many in making your union the hub of sustainability in your community. Check out if your union has already signed up, or if not check it out and register before the beginning of November. Could you be one of our national Green Impact winners this year?
Click here to find out more from the sustainability team at NUS and to join our sustainability mailing list.
Related articles: The Guardian Student:NUS campaigner Robbie Young: students, lay down your straws
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