Published on June 6th, 2018 | by Jasmine Evans
The First Town in the UK to go Plastic Straw Free
A campaign by school pupils has led to a Scottish Village becoming the first ever place in the UK to be plastic straw free.
In early 2018, the scenic village of Ullapool in the West Highlands turned their backs on plastic drinking straws. The village believe it could be the first ever village in the UK to scrap plastic straws, with a total of 14 cafes, bars and restaurants no longer offering them to customers.
The change came into effect after a campaign was launched by primary school pupils in efforts to protect the environment from harmful plastic pollution caused by plastic drinking straws. The campaign was led by Glasgow’s Sunnyside Primary school, who were taking part in a field trip in Ullapool alongside the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Ullapool Primary school.
The children were taking part in a beach clean when they found thousands of plastic straws scattered across the beach, amongst other marine pollution. Joining forces with one another, the two schools lobbied businesses as part of the #NaeStrawAtAw campaign, which was well received by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s living seas communities officer, Noel Hawkins, says: “The children from Sunnyside Primary School have done a great deal to raise awareness within Glasgow and their enthusiasm rubbed off on the local kids when they came to Ullapool in September. The pupils went door-to-door to speak directly to businesses and this has clearly had an impact.
He continues: “Living on the coast means we constantly see the impact of a throwaway attitude to plastic, both on our beaches and in our seas. Finding plastic drinking straws during beach cleans is particularly frustrating because alternative products are available.”
Plastic Waste – A Problem
Plastic waste is becoming a growing nightmare for humans, animals and the environment. The majority of the world’s littered plastic ends up in the sea. This year, an estimated 8 billion kilos of plastic will be dumped into the world’s rivers, seas, walkways and waterways. With so much plastic polluting our oceans, marine life faces high risks of death through toxic poisoning and plastic entanglement.
Without changes in buying behaviour, this problem will continue to rise. This #wellnesswednesday, why not contribute to positive change by swapping your plastic use to other alternatives?