With the phasing out of single-use plastics, drinks editor Sam Wylie-Harris scopes out how to sip and stir without harming the environment.
The alfresco party season will soon be here, and so will a ban on some of a bartender’s favourite tools – straws and stirrers.
To help tackle pollution and protect the environment, the government is shaking up the drinks industry by banning the supply of plastic straws and stirrers, after a consultation revealed “overwhelming” public support for the move.
The hospitality sector have voluntarily been reducing the availability and use of plastic straws for some time, but food and drink outlets will not be able to display plastic straws or automatically hand them out from April 2020.
It’s estimated that 4.7 billion plastic straws and 316 million plastic stirrers are used each year in England – but there are plenty of other ways at-home cocktail enthusiasts and party planners can sip, stir and style their drinks…
1. Natural Wheat Drinking Straws (144mm), 50 for £3.49, ecostrawz
Simplicity at its best, we love the look of these rustic style natural wheat drinking straws, which can be trimmed for long and short drinks – and the non-porous finish means they won’t go soggy in your lemonade or mojito.
2. Natural Bamboo Straws with Jute Bag and Pouch, set of 12, £8.99, Jungle Straws
Tiki drinks have been cited as the sip of the summer, and one of the best things about these reusable natural bamboo straws is they can be personalised for birthdays and special occasions. All that’s missing is a paper umbrella.
3. Eco Friendly Metal Straws, £6, River Island
A no-brainer, stainless steel straws look the part, feel good to the touch and can cope with chunky ice cubes and loads of garnish. There’s a brush cleaner as well, just in case you forget to double strain that cocktail or it’s a sticky mess.
4. Summer Meadow Paper Straws (pack of 25), £2.95, Rex London
These pretty floral designs will be a huge hit at picnics and festivals, especially with the trend for still and sparkling rosé wines in portable, recyclable aluminium cans – a lighter, greener option.
5. The Siptini Cocktail Glass, single, £9.99, Drink Stuff
An all-in-one, what’s not to love about this sexy ‘siptini,’ made from shatter resistant, 100% recyclable borosilicate glass? A martini or cosmo will be that much easier to sip, without the worry of any spills down your little black dress.
6. Fiesta Green Compostable CPLA Cocktail Stirrer Straws Black (pack of 250), £1.69, Nisbets
Black straws always look smart on a cocktail trolley, and the fact these are made out of renewable plant-based materials (CPLA) means they’re fully compostable and lends extra kudos. Try placing them in a heavy cut crystal glass for maximum effect.