HOLYROOD has become the first parliament building in the UK to ban plastic straws, leading the way on tackling plastic litter and single-use plastics.
In response to a letter from Dingwall-based MSP Kate Forbes, who has been spearheading the Final Straw campaign, the Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body (SPCB) confirmed it has eliminated all plastic straws at its restaurants and bars and will now only hand out paper ones on request.
The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP, who sits on the parliament’s environment committee, said she hoped it would encourage other public bodies to follow suit.
It is understood that Holyrood’s catering outlets were using around 4000 plastic drinking straws a year.
Ms Forbes said: "While I’m campaigning for public bodies and businesses to ditch plastic straws, it’s important I start close to home and so I’m delighted that the Scottish Parliament has stopped stocking plastic straws and will only give out a biodegradable alternative when requested.
"The Scottish Parliament has long lead the way on environmental initiatives, and this is obviously another way in which it is striving to improve what it does. I give full credit to the catering team and Sir Paul Grice, chief executive, for their rapid response to my letter asking them to consider ditching plastic straws.
A campaign championed by pupils at Ullapool Primary School has captured the wider imagination. Businesses in the Wester Ross village agreed to stop using single-use plastic straws with ferry operator CalMac, following suit.