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War on plastic: Harrogate bars take action

Backing the ban - Harrogate's Simon Cotton, the HRH Group's group managing director.
Backing the ban - Harrogate's Simon Cotton, the HRH Group's group managing director.

A growing number of Harrogate bars, hotels and restaurants are joining the plastic straws revolution, saving millions of unenvironmentally-friendly straws each year.

Among those now lending the weight to the growing movement to ban the use of damaging, non-biodegradable plastic straws is Simon Cotton, the organiser of the Harrogate Hospitality & Tourism Awards.

Banning plastic straws - Revolucin de Cuba in Harrogate.

Banning plastic straws - Revolucin de Cuba in Harrogate.

The UK uses a staggering 8.5 billion straws every year, many of which end up in beaches and the sea, according to The Marine Conservation Society.

In January, Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted to eliminate all avoidable plastic within 25 years.

The list of food and drink outlets locations in Harrogate which have recently imposed their own ban includes Revolución de Cuba and The Fat Badger on Cold Bath Road.


The latter is part of the HRH Group of venues in Harrogate whch also includes the White Hart Hotel and Apartments, The Yorkshire Hotel and Scran Restaurant.

Aware of national concern at the environmental effects on the planet, the group, which operates boutique hotels, restaurants and traditional pub across the north of England, decided to opt for a complete plastic straws ban and switch to paper straws en masse in February.


Simon Cotton, the HRH Group's group managing director, said: "The plastic straw war is something we take very seriously and is at the forefront of our minds as Yorkshire bar and restaurant operators.
"It's crucial that the hospitality industry jumps onto this as together we can make a massive difference."


It is estimated the HRH Group's move will save approximately 250,000 plastic straws per year in Harrogate alone and double that across all sites.
Revolution Bars Group, the UK’s largest operator of premium bars with 73 venues across, the UK has also removed plastic straws across its estate as part of a new sustainability campaign.


And Revolución de Cuba in Harrogate is now championing #NoStrawPorFavor, banning all plastic straw purchasing and putting an end to its annual 30 million order.
A biodegradable, fully compostable alternative manufactured from PLA - a plant-based plastic - is now available to any of its customers who specifically ask for and require a straw.


Myles Doran, commercial director of Revolution Bars Group said: “We have a huge responsibility as one of the leading premium bar groups in the UK to get behind the ‘no straws’ campaign.
"In 2017, we used over 30 million straws and removing these is us playing our part in significantly reducing the volume of plastic that damages our environment."
Further significant measures by Revolution Bars Group to reduce wastage include switching to dehydrated fruit garnishes, replacing all beverage napkins with ceramic coasters at Revolución de Cuba sites and partnering with Refill (www.refill.org.uk), a free tap water initiative, adding all bars within the group to the 1,600 refill stations currently available across the UK.