Updated: Sep 8, 2018
Original article from The Evening Standard, link available below.
"Sometimes the scale of environmental problems makes us wonder whether the small actions we take make any difference." We at EcoPlanet Bamboo absolutely believe that not only does every action count, no matter how small, but that it is these actions that ultimately drive a social or environmental movement. We've watched as the war on single use plastic has grown in momentum in a relatively short period, and are grateful to every individual, cafe, hotel chain and more that has bought into our Bamboo Straw Campaign and contributed to removing plastic straws from our rivers, beaches, oceans and more forever!
Yet millions of us do our bit — we recycle, we buy eco-friendly cars, we try not to litter. We know our lives add to the environmental problem and while most of us don’t want to be green hermits, we do want to help. That is particularly true in the case of plastic.
Invented by humans as a wonder-material, it’s dirt cheap to produce and can be used for almost any purpose — its blessings have become a curse. This is particularly the case with disposable plastic in the food industry. Plastic bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic cups and plastic straws, used only once, have rapidly replaced recyclable paper, wood and glass alternatives.
This is harmful for nature, especially our marine life. The estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic in our oceans are killing one million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals a year. That’s why we warmly welcomed the plan Michael Gove launched last week, with the support of the PM — extending the plastic bag tax introduced by David Cameron, consulting on a levy for plastic cups et al, and seeking to eliminate “avoidable” single-use plastics over the next 25 years. But we shouldn’t just rely on government to solve problems, nor do we need to wait that long to achieve our goals. We can take action now.
Britain is a big user of plastic straws. In London alone, two billion of them are used every year — more than the whole of Italy. Each one takes seconds to make, minutes to use and hundreds of years to degrade.
Crucially, unlike other plastics, there are easy alternatives available — paper straws, corn syrup ones, even bamboo straws. Some London restaurants and bars have already led the way and we applaud them.
You won’t get a plastic straw at Jamie’s Italian, Wahaca, Wetherspoons and All Bar One.
Now, we go a step further. Today the Evening Standard is calling on all restaurants, bars, cafés and coffee shops across the capital to commit to eco- alternatives. Over the coming weeks we will celebrate those who do, and question those who don’t.
Thank you Evening Standard for driving awareness and commitment towards the war on single use plastic straws for London!