Wimbledon bans plastic straws

Erin O'Neill By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 2 May 2018

Plastic straws are to be banned from this year’s Wimbledon championships, the All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced.

The UK uses around 8.5 billion single-use plastic straws a year, many of which go on to pollute the ocean. The Marine Conservation Society welcomes the ban, as these straws are harmful to marine animals and clog up our seas, taking up to 500 years to decompose. Plastic straws are one of the most common items found during beach cleans.

Last year more than 400,000 plastic straws were used during the Wimbledon tournament. Following the ban – which comes as part of a wider sustainability plan - no plastic straws will be used in bars, cafes and restaurants at Wimbledon. Recyclable paper straws will be used instead.

Also announced was the provision of a paper bag option for items bought at shops during the tournament. Additionally 87 free water refill points will be available for public use in the grounds, along with 21 water fountains.

Signage related to recycling along with waste collection services at the tournament are also being improved.

In the past few months, many businesses have taken measures to reduce their contribution to single-use plastic waste, with the likes of Wagamama, Costa Coffee, Waitrose and All Bar One all phasing out plastic straws.

Over 60 independent British music festivals have committed to banning plastic straws and other single-use plastics from their events. This means that plastic drinks bottles, plastic straws, glitter, plastic food trays and more will be removed from festival sites.

While this is a great step, there needs to be more drastic and immediate action taken against single-use plastic. The government are currently asking the public their opinion on a throwaway plastic tax. Let the government know that you have had enough of single-use plastic before 18th May.

Actions you can take

  1. Download straw graphic for cafe/bar counter
  2. Download our straw poster
  3. Help stop the plastic tide
  4. Refuse straws at your local restaurant/bar
  5. Share #stopsucking
  6. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2019

Did you know?…

Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded almost 50% fewer bags on beaches

To date, our beach cleans have removed over 11 million pieces of litter

Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans