WATCH: Is this dissolving straw the answer to the ban on plastics?
PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 03 November 2018
A straw which disintegrates in hot water is being introduced at one Ipswich bar as it joins the fight against single-use plastics.
But does this go far enough in our attempt to reduce plastic waste and protect our oceans? Here we look at the issue of single-use plastic in Suffolk.
Revolution in Ipswich have stopped using regular plastic straws and are instead opting for the entirely biodegradable alternative.
Deputy manager of Ipswich Revolution, Daniel Shearer, said: “Our straws are non-plastic and are biodegradable so over time they disappear.”
He continued: “Most of our drinks are not served with a straw anymore and we have stopped giving them out to help with our waste. The straws are still available for customers from the bar so that if they do need one they can take it.”
Revolution have been using the biodegradable straws for six months now- and these straws will naturally disintegrate in seven years, or before your very eyes if you pour hot water over them.
Elsewhere around the county, bars and restaurants are joining the national purge on plastic straws and swapping them for paper versions.
But just around the corner, Coast to Coast are continuing to use plastic straws.
Connor Rudland, manager of the bar said: “We still use plastic straws but with a lot of the drinks we don’t actually hand them out unless they are cocktails. We are working towards eventually using paper straws.”
Felixstowe fights back
In Felixstowe businesses are choosing compostable materials. They see, first hand, the impact plastic pollution has on our beaches and backing calls for a ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
Hannah Walker, 29, has owned the Spud Hut in Felixstowe with her mother for the past five months and she said: “There is a big awareness in the town about single use plastics as we see the awful consequences on the ocean with the huge amounts of waste and plastic washed up on the beach.”
Their café aims to be environmentally friendly by using compostable items such as paper straws, bamboo cutlery, bottles made out of recycled glass, and all their takeaway hot drink cups are made of compostable materials.
Hannah, who has lived in Felixstowe since she was 10, said: “Everyone is responsible. There are so many alternatives to plastic so it is important for us to be as cautious as possible.”
In the town 1,200 members of Plastic-Free Felixstowe are actively focussing their efforts on reducing and ultimately eliminating plastics from the environment and the sea.
A director of the charity, Tim Lukehurst, said that plastic straws are just a small part of the huge problem and added: “We cannot ignore what is happening in front of us.”
He continued: “I see no place for plastic straws, or single use plastic in general- it has a terrible impact on the environment and paper straws are no different.
“Documentaries such as Planet Earth by David Attenborough are showing us the horrendous damage the human race is doing and we must make a change and do something about it.”
The award-winning charity has spoken to more than 7,000 school children to educate the younger generation about the damage plastic pollution is having on our world and in August the group hosted an awareness day to educate young people on the impact of plastic.
What do you think?
We asked members of our Facebook community for their views and the general consensus was that we should ditch straws altogether rather than seeking alternative options.
Teresa Croft said: “We managed before we had it all so we can manage again.” Meanwhile Helen Greengrass added “Can anyone remind me why we need straws, paper or otherwise? Seem to remember I used to drink straight from a glass.”
The government are consulting on the ban on plastic straws. The consultation opened to the public on Monday, October 22 and will close on Monday, 3 December.
What do you think about the proposed ban and the dissolvable alternatives? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.