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Man launches campaign to ban plastic straws in every Islington pub, bar and restaurant

PUBLISHED: 07:46 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:58 13 February 2018

A file image of plastic straws. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor

A file image of plastic straws. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor

PA Wire/PA Images

An Islington man has started a lone crusade to rid every pub, bar and restaurant in the borough of plastic straws.

Anthony Wilkinson is hoping to build on the momentum created by other campaigns in the country in recent weeks.

He has created a Twitter account, called “Sack the Straw – Islington”, from which he intends to tweet at each Islington pub, bar and restaurant and demand they stop using plastic straws.

Anthony will then pay a visit to each one and check up on the situation. “Without looking like an extremist,” he laughs.

Plastic straws, once used and thrown away, cannot degrade. A number of chain companies, such as JD Wetherspoon, have recently pledged to phase them out completely.

Anthony, who has lived in Islington for 18 years, only set up the Twitter account on Wednesday. But he’s already received a pledge from The Alma in Newington Green, which is now ordering biodegradable straws from its supplier.

The Narrowboat in St Peter’s Street and The New Rose in Essex Road, meanwhile, informed Anthony how they had already stopped using plastic straws.

He told the Gazette: “The great thing about Islington is it’s slightly more aware of the world than other places.

“I just want to get more people interested. Obviously, there is a wider consversation about plastic and the environment, but you can’t fix everything and you have to pick something to campaign about – I’ve picked the straws.

“I’ll be doing it one establishment at a time. It’ll be an enormous job. What I’ve seen so far is some bars are already ahead of the game, others are planning to make the switch to biodegradable – but others are doing nothing at all.

“I live near Essex Road and Upper Street, and it’s absolutely crammed with bars and restaurants. It has always been a busy place with great nightlife, but if you walk around Islington, you see plastic straws littered everywhere. All over the streets.”

Anthony added: “There are campaigns in Manchester and the New Forest doing the same thing. I’ve linked up with them and messaged them for advice. It does help when you’re not alone.

“Even the government is saying: ‘We need to stop this.’”

Follow Anthony’s progress on his Twitter account: @sackthestraw

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