John Leech launches campaign to end plastic straws in Manchester

Former Manchester MP of 10 years, John Leech has today launched a campaign to end plastic straws in Manchester's pubs and bars.

A staggering 550 million straws are used every day for an average of 20 minutes each, but lasting on earth for between 200 and 600 years.

John Leech called on the Council to commit Manchester's businesses to phasing out the use of plastic straws in a bid to make the city plastic-free.

Liberal Democrat Councillor John Leech said: "There is no excuse for plastic straws anymore and the damage to our wildlife and environment is too enormous; they embed themselves in the noses of sea turtles, block the throats of dolphins, choke fish and are consistently in the top ten items found washed up on beaches.

"A heartbreaking one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year are killed by ingesting or becoming entangled in straws and it would be callous of us not to act.

"Unlike many other plastics, there is an abundance of alternatives available; paper, corn syrup and even bamboo straws.

"Ending plastic straws is an easy, simple but critical step for our local pubs and bars to pledge their commitment to Manchester's plastic-free future. By simply swapping to alternative straws they will be playing their part in a nation-wide solution.

"Manchester is famous for its rich, iconic and vibrant nightlife and we are endlessly proud of it, but with such great privileges comes the responsibility to step up in the battle against plastic.

"This is why I am calling on pub and bars to commit to phasing out plastic straws completely and help make Manchester completely plastic straw-free by the end of 2018."

Several towns and villages around Britain have declared themselves plastic straw-free and London has already begun a battle to rid the capital of plastic straws.

John Leech added: "We have launched a campaign at and by signing it, the public can help show Manchester businesses that they are serious about reducing plastic waste and do something small, but extremely effective to get us started."

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