Last Straw At Glasgow City Council
26 January 2018, 11:16
Plastic straws will stop being used by Scotland's biggest council after primary pupils highlighted the plight of marine wildlife.
A campaign from children at Sunnyside Primary School, Craigend, against the pollution has inspired the city's local authority to switch to more eco-friendly options.
Dropped straws can be blown into rivers and washed into the sea where they threaten seabirds, turtles, whales and dolphins - or end up with microplastics in the food chain if eaten by fish.
Lisa Perrie, Sunnyside Primary principal teacher, said: "This is fantastic news and the children are absolutely thrilled. They have worked so hard on this campaign and the results have been amazing.
"We've had tremendous support and Glasgow City Council's announcement is a major boost.
"It shows the children they can make a big difference in the world and that their views really matter."
Encore, the council's commercial catering division, will no longer provide straws with customers' drinks from the end of February - and people who ask for one will receive an eco-friendly alternative.
The use of pre-packaged drinks supplied with plastic straws will also be reviewed to see if more environmentally friendly options are feasible.
More than 26 cafes in the council's museums, sports centres, offices, schools and the city chambers will be subject to the decision.
It is expected to prevent tens-of-thousands of plastic straws a year going to landfill.
CalMac ferries has already agreed to join the school's campaign.
The announcement brought whoops of delight from Sunnyside pupils, who were also instrumental in helping their peers in Ullapool convince all 14 businesses in the village to ditch the straws.
Councillor Anna Richardson, the council's convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, revealed the good news.
She said: "Sunnyside Primary School's #NaeStrawAtAw campaign has been the deciding factor in this move and the pupils are to be congratulated on their impressive lobbying skills.
"They are a true force of nature - highlighting the plight of marine wildlife and encouraging businesses to join their campaign.
"It is an absolute pleasure to announce Glasgow City Council's backing for the campaign which will help protect our marine environment for wildlife and future generations."