Wellington bars and restaurants trial ban on plastic straws

Those sitting in the sun, enjoying a beverage along Wellington’s waterfront will be doing so without sipping from a plastic straw.

Twenty-six bars, cafes, restaurants and food trucks on the waterfront are trialling a plastic straw-free future. Source: 1 NEWS

Twenty-six bars, restaurants, cafes and food trucks in the area have pledged to go plastic straw free.

“Our primary position is no straw if we can get away with it, but if somebody request one we will put one in the glass,” Munchen Bar owner John Henderson told 1 NEWS.

Hospitality New Zealand has welcomed the move, but told 1 NEWS it should be extended to take away and fast food outlets too.

But the council doesn’t have the power to enforce bans.

“We have no power to regulate, and we probably wouldn’t want to, but we want to lead a cultural change so that people think about plastic, and if they really need it,” Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett said.

The council hope to see the whole city go straw-free within two years.

“It’s about our commitment to being an eco-city and I’m sure other cities will follow,” she said.

It comes after United Kingdom announced it’d ban plastic straws as early as next year. Businesses in Rangiora in North Canterbury have also made the move to ban plastic straws.

Sustainable Oceans told 1 NEWS plastic is a huge problem for the capital’s beaches.

“If you walk along beaches, especially Oriental Bay and Evans Bay, you’ll see plastic straws strewn around the beaches. We pick up about ten thousand straws a year just as part of our Love Your Coast program in Wellington,” Oliver Vetter said.

It’s hoped the product most of us use only once, but stays around for thousands of years, won’t be staying around the city much longer.