Straw Free Chester campaign
Three years ago, local residents Dr Christian Dunn and Helen Tandy, along with the Chester Friends of the Earth group, began a Campaign for Straw Free Chester. The aim was to make Chester the first city to stop the use of plastic straws.
The campaigners encouraged businesses and organisations in the city to only give out plastic straws when customers specifically needed or asked for one and, when they did want a straw, to use alternative materials such as paper. Alongside this, a petition was signed by people agreeing to pledge to stop their use of plastic straws. This was sent to the Government calling for legislation on banning single use plastic including straws.
From 1 October 2020, the Government banned the sale of single-use plastic straws, plastic stemmed cotton buds and plastic drink stirrers in England. This ban is one of a number of measures to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic, so we can better protect our precious wildlife and leave our environment in a better condition for future generations. This ban will save nearly five billion plastic straws, two billion plastic stemmed cotton buds and 300 million plastic stirrers every year in England from entering the waste stream.
The work on this campaign has been developed further with the Plastic Free Chester Campaign achieving Plastic Free Status with Surfers Against Sewage and through the creation of Plastic Free Pioneers in 2019 and Eco Communities in 2020.