26 companies in Greater Manchester have started using locally-manufactured paper straws as part of a city-wide campaign and audit scheme to eradicate single-use plastics in the hospitality sector.
The straws, which are entirely made from paper and are embossed with the iconic Manchester bee design, were developed by Stockport-based catering supplier Stephensons.
The first lot of orders were delivered earlier in November to a range of companies, including several hotels, bars, local breweries and larger users like Manchester Airport and The Lowry Centre.
Managing director of Stephensons, Henry Stephenson, said: “The interest in the paper straws has been fantastic and shows how businesses of all shapes and sizes are ready to sign up and play their part in a plastic-free Greater Manchester.”
The straws are part of a much larger campaign supported by social enterprise Real Junk Food Manchester, which provides plastic and waste audits for businesses.
“Plastic and waste audits are a great way to support businesses making the right choices”, said Corin Bell, director of Real Junk Food Manchester. “There are a lot of so-called ‘eco’ products on the market and we’re committed to providing clear and practical advice to food and drink businesses that sets them up to succeed in making sustainable choices.”
In total, more than 130 businesses within the hospitality and catering industry have signed up to the Plastic Free Greater Manchester Pledge, which was set up by mayor Andy Burnham earlier this year with the aim of achieving a single-use plastic-free city region by 2020.
The mayor described Real Junk Food Manchester and Stephensons as “great examples of business leaders championing change”, adding: “This is just the first step towards meeting our ambitious target against single-use plastics and I urge all bars, restaurants, and hotels to get on board with the campaign.”