Plastic straws are no longer available in any of London City Airport’s food and drink outlets, and have been replaced with biodegradable paper straws, which will be provided upon request.
The decision to remove plastic straws from the airport comes following heightened awareness of the waste impact of single use plastics, and in support of London Evening Standard’s ‘The Last Straw’ campaign, which aims to bring an end to Londoners’ needless use of plastic drinking straws.
Until this new measure, approximately 100,000 plastic straws were distributed by London City Airport outlets each year, among a proportion of its 4.5 million annual passengers.
The airport is the first of the UK’s main airports to implement the ban, helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Lewis Chenery, environmental compliance executive at London City Airport, said: “We are pleased to see plastic straws depart from London City Airport, joining a range of waste management initiatives that we already implement as a zero-landfill company.
“Recent public interest in plastic waste has brought into sharp focus the issue, and we will be looking at new measures to further reduce our contribution, as we develop a new guide for our restaurants and retailers.
“We are also committed to increasing our recycling rate to 70 per cent by the end of this year.”
SSP Group, which operates several restaurants, bars and cafes in the airport, including Espressamente Illy, City Bar, Pilots Bar & Kitchen and Panopolis, will now only supply paper straw alternatives.
Café-bar Brick Lane Brews, founded by Truman’s Brewery, has removed plastic straws, along with the on-site Café Nero and Pret A Manger.
Going forward, any new outlets will be obliged to use non-plastic straws.
The airport also provides free drinking water refills at all of its food and drink outlets (with the exception of the airside Pret A Manger branch, due to kitchen facilities) helping to reduce the use of single-use plastic wastage.
Self-service jugs of water are available, or passengers can ask staff behind the counter, without the need to purchase an item.
Also today, Marriott International announced it is removing all plastic straws from over 60 hotels in the UK.
Hotel teams have been requested to begin removing plastic straws from circulation with immediate effect.
Michel Miserez, area vice president, United Kingdom & Ireland, Marriott International, said: “Our UK hotels used 300,000 straws last year.
“By removing plastic straws from our hotels in the UK we are making a small but significant step in playing our part in reducing the volume of plastic that damages our environment and wildlife.
“Marriott International has a global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good in all aspects of our business.
“We recognise that how we do business is as important as the business that we do.”
Customers who request straws will be offered biodegradable or paper straws.
London City Airport image: Ben Walsh