Only paper straws will be served from 15 January, as award-winning Italian joins environmental pledge

As of 2014, an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic were floating around the world’s oceans. The impact on wildlife is devastating: more than one million sea birds - not to mention over 100,000 marine mammals - are killed. 

Plastic straws are typically made from polypropylene, a petroleum-based synthetic designed to last forever, meaning they never biodegrade and take centuries to break down. Consequently, they’re often amongst the top ten most common items found on beaches during coastal clean-ups.

All this for something that can be used just once.  Plastic straws seriously suck. 

170726 Alchemist Sea Turtle
Green sea turtles - just one victim of plastic straws

That’s why San Carlo Group has announced it will be banning plastic straws across its eighteen restaurants from Wednesday 15 July; customers will instead be able to request more environmentally-friendly paper versions. 

The group’s move comes amidst a growing awareness of unnecessary plastic. Theresa May vowed this week to eliminate the UK's plastic waste by 2042; while restaurants such as Botanist, Alchemist, D&D and even Wetherspoons have all banned the general use of plastic straws.

San Carlo Group Managing Director Marcello Distefano said: “As a company we have committed to use less plastic where possible, plastic drinking straws are one change we can make quite easily. Across the group we use around 600,000 straws every year, for something used so briefly which goes on to do so much potential harm to the environment, it seems an obvious change to make.”