The Tavern Bar & Restaurant Murrisk, a small village near Westport, Co Mayo, has called time on its use of plastic straws. In a move which coincided with Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is instead opting for environmentally responsible paper straws instead.
Around 500 million straws are used in the US alone each day (175 billion per year) – used once and then binned though they never biodegrade. They’re not alone – Scotland has plans to ban plastic straws by the end of 2019 while Taiwan recently announced a 12-year elimination process of plastic drinking straws, shopping bags, disposable tableware and takeaway cups.
The Last Plastic Straw, a global movement to eliminate single-use plastics, has asked those in the hospitality industry to do their part – providing a straw only when customers request one, switching to reusable or compostable straws, or removing their use entirely.
“We’re right on the Wild Atlantic Way and we appreciate our pristine environment. We want to do our bit to ensure it stays that way. Giving up the use of plastic straws is just the first step we are taking,” says Ruth O’Brien of The Tavern. “From now on customers at The Tavern will be offered paper straws instead. It’s amazing how many people have forgotten that plastic straws are a relatively new innovation – we all used paper straws when we were kids”.