Iced coffee with straw

Final straw? High street chains have announced moves to phase out plastic straws and replace with recyclable alternatives

Coffee giants Pret a Manger and Costa are ditching plastic straws in favour of recyclable alternatives.

Pret will kick off a trial of paper straws in selected shops next week, while Costa is launching a non-plastic alternative later this year.

“In a bid to reduce the impact our packaging has on the environment, we’ve removed plastic straws from our shop floors,” said a Pret spokeswoman.

“A small number are available behind tills for any customers who request one and we will begin trialling paper straws in some of our shops next week.”

“As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing waste and increasing recycling, we are removing plastic straws from our stores,” added Costa UK & Ireland MD Jason Cotta.

“Last year we removed straws from our condiment units and now serve them on request only. We will launch a non-plastic alternative straw this year as part of an ongoing review into all our packaging and takeaway cups.”

Leon is also planning to replace plastic straws with paper ones, and phase out its plastic cutlery in favor of more sustainable options.

“We are proud to announce today we are switching from plastic straws to paper alternatives,” said Leon co-founder John Vincent.

“We will also be moving from plastic cutlery, to compostable and biodegradable alternatives. As soon as we have reached the last straw (and knife, fork and spoon), we’ll be welcoming these better straws and cutlery.”

The moves follow the government’s announcement it intends to eliminate the UK’s plastic waste by 2042.