It’s the last straw for eco-friendly pub chain

Picture by Julian Brown 10/02/18''Withy Arms, Leyland, pub landlord John Travill with the new paper straws after banning plastic straws under the single-use-plastic ban campaign''NB. Lee not available for pictures
Picture by Julian Brown 10/02/18''Withy Arms, Leyland, pub landlord John Travill with the new paper straws after banning plastic straws under the single-use-plastic ban campaign''NB. Lee not available for pictures
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It’s the last straw - plastic that is - for a pub chain which is doing its bit for the planet.

The Withy Arms Group uses 10,000 plastic straws a month at its three pubs.

Now it’s paper-only straws in future at the Withy Arms in Leyland and the Withy Arms and Walton Arms in Bamber Bridge.

Lee Forshaw, of the group, said: “We’re no longer purchasing plastic straws and trying to minimise single use plastics.

“We made the decision through our trade press because we’re aware of the massive amount of wastage from plastic straws people use.

“It’s shocking, really.”

He said the cost to the chain of the 10,000 straws each month is £35 plus VAT.

The new paper straws work out roughly at £4.49 per 250.

“We moving to paper straws, they’re one hundred per cent biodegradable straws,” said Lee.

“We’re doing our bit for the environment because it’s quite a shock, really.”

Lee took a swipe at South Ribble Borough Council, too.

He claimed: “There’s no help or assistance in recycling anything if you’re a business.

“There’s no glass recycling provided by the council. That goes to landfill.

“We recycle all our glass - that’s three venues.”

Councillor Graham Walton, South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and streetscene, said: “It’s great news that the Withy Arms Group has joined the movement to stop using plastic straws.

“As we know, these single-use plastics can take 200 years to decompose, and often end up polluting our oceans and causing a threat of real harm to marine life. This move is a really positive step for the environment and I commend their efforts.”

He added: “The council works hard with local businesses to encourage recycling, and currently has 162 trade waste customers - almost a third of the borough’s businesses – signed up to its paper and cardboard collection service.

“If Mr Forshaw wants to register for this service, or find out more information about recycling his waste, we’d be more than happy to help.”

The Leyland pub’s landlord John Travill said of the change to plastic straws: “It was a no brainer. We do realise that some other pubs have done it already in the Leyland area, but the straws we’re using are more expensive.

“We’ve tested them and left them in the glass for an hour. The cheaper ones tend to unravel and float.”

As regards recycling, he said he was not aware of the council paper and cardboard service but that the pub chain “would probably” sign up to it.

He said: “It’s probably easier for us to have it here and have a collection. We recycle but we have to deliver it.”

A growing number of companies are removing plastic straws from use on their premises.

Last year, discount pub chain Wetherspoons announced it would replace plastic straws with paper ones across 900 outlets.

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. The items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is disposable.