The MP for Halifax has welcomed the news that the pub chain JD Wetherspoon will stop using plastic straws by 2018.
Wetherspoon will stop the using plastic straws across its 900 pubs in the UK and Republic of Ireland by the end of this year.
In addition, and with immediate effect, straws will no longer be automatically added to drinks, although they remain available for customers if requested.
From January 2018, all of the company’s pubs will use biodegradable paper straws.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “These changes are part of an overall commitment from the company to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste produced. “We believe that Wetherspoon pub-goers will welcome this.”
Labour’s Shadow Environment Minister Holly Lynch MP has welcomed the decision by Wetherspoons.
Ms Lynch launched a campaign to reduce the amount of waste resulting from plastic drinking straws and wrote to the top 20 chain restaurants and pubs urging them to offer straws on request only.
“This is a really welcome announcement by one of the country’s most prominent pub chains. It is great to see them taking a lead on tackling avoidable plastic waste," she said.
“Globally over 500m straws are thrown away every day with almost all of them ending up in landfill, being incinerated, or in our waterways, seas and oceans.
“I’m calling on more pubs and restaurants to join this growing campaign which has widespread public support. Working together on this we can make a real difference towards tackling the problem of single use plastics.”