You can help cut down on plastic straw pollution

By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 11 April 2018

We are teaming up with whisky company Chivas Regal to put a stop to the plague of plastic straws that pollute our oceans, and we need your help!

© Horia Varlan

A plastic straw is used for such a short time before it is thrown away. Chivas Regal is showing real commitment to deal with this unnecessary waste pollution, and we now need many other businesses to follow their lead.

Sandy Luk,
Chief Executive
Marine Conservation Society

Around 8.5 billion single-use plastic straws are used and discarded in Britain every year. They are one of the most common items found during beach cleans.

We want to see a reduction in single-use plastics, and refusing straws is a great way to contribute to the effort. Straws pollute our ocean, harming the marine population and clogging up the water. Did you know that they take more than 200 years to break down?

There are many ways you can help to cut down on plastic straw pollution. Refusing them in restaurants, pubs and bars is an easy first step you can take.

Chivas Regal has pledged to help us in our efforts to eradicate straws from our environment, and have already barred plastic straws and stirrers from all of their events.

MCS and Chivas Regal are inviting you to join our pledge to bar straws – to get involved all you have to do is take a picture of yourself with the same face you pull when you’re sucking on a straw.

Chivas will donate $1 per photo to our cause for the first 10,000 selfies that tag @ChivasRegalUK on Twitter or @ChivasRegal on Instagram with the hashtag #BarStraws.

“A plastic straw is used for such a short time before it is thrown away”, says MCS Chief Executive, Sandy Luk. “Chivas Regal is showing real commitment to deal with this unnecessary waste pollution, and we now need many other businesses to follow their lead.”

Some leading bars and restaurants have already made a move against straws, with the Wetherspoons chain, All Bar One and The Laine Pub Company just a few that have recently announced bans.

So take your #BarStraws selfie now and do your part to help MCS reduce the pollution caused by single use plastic straws. If you’d like to get even more involved, take a look at our current work against plastic straws.

Actions you can take

  1. Download straw graphic for cafe/bar counter
  2. Refuse straws at your local restaurant/bar
  3. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017
  4. Share #stopsucking
  5. Download our straw poster
  6. Help stop the plastic tide

Did you know?…

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles

The future of fisheries is being decided

Fisheries CampaignThe UK government has opened a public consultation asking how we think they should manage our fisheries after Brexit through a new Fisheries Bill.

Act now!