last straw
"The Last Straw" - Andy Preston with The Fork in the Road's restaurant manager, Rachel Whitehead.
Rebecca Wayman

Teesside businessman urges North East to reduce its plastic consumption

Teesside-based Andy Preston, founder of The Fork in the Road restaurant, is urging local businesses to join him in taking steps towards eliminating all avoidable plastics.

This comes after the Government’s pledge to eradicate the UK’s plastic issue within 25 years. Andy is aiming to drastically reduce the Middlesbrough restaurant’s plastic consumption by stopping the offer of plastic straws, and stocking only biodegradable paper ones available on request.

The not-for-profit restaurant on Linthorpe Road, which sees prisoners and ex-offenders gain employment training during paid work placement, currently uses an estimated 25,000 straws every year.

Mr Preston believes that if his restaurant, and others in the region, took positive steps to reducing straw usage, it could make a huge difference.

Andy said: “Serving a single drink without a straw might only seem like a drop in the ocean, but when you multiply it by how many straws we use a year, and then multiply that by how many restaurants we have just here in the Tees Valley…

“We are talking about millions of straws that won’t be polluting our fragile planet in the future.

“In many ways, plastic is useful and good for business, but research suggests that one in three cod and haddock caught in British waters contains visible plastic and that the average person who eats seafood consumes 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic each year.

“It is great to see that the Government is planning positive action on this issue, but we must start fighting unnecessary pollution now, not within 25 years. That is why I am urging other local businesses to join me in taking this first step towards harmful-plastic free trade.”

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