THE campaign to make Chester the UK’s first city to be free of single-use plastic drinking stories is celebrating a major victory.

Coffee chain Costa Coffee has announced that it is to remove plastic stores from its stores as part of a commitment to cutting waste.

Costa Coffee tweeted: “As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing waste & increasing #Recycling we are removing plastic straws from our stores. We will launch a non-plastic alternative straw this year as part of an on-going review into all our packaging & takeaway cups.”

The Costa branch in Chester’s Grosvenor Centre also shared the announcement on its Facebook page along with the hashtag #StrawFreeChester

Christian Dunn, the scientist who launched the #StrawFreeChester campaign, said he was delighted with the announcement.

Father-of-two Dr Dunn tweeted: “When I first thought about starting #StrawFreeChester someone told me not to bother because @CostaCoffee would never go for it, so there was no point. This support therefore makes me very happy!”

The news has been welcomed on social meda.

Simon Eardley, of Chester, tweeted: “Shows what a little imagination, drive and people working together can achieve. How fantastic that in a cynical world there are people out there passionate about making a real difference.”

Other business in Chester have also made changes in support of the campaign.

The Barista's Coffee Co, which has coffee shops in Watergate Street (pictured above) and the new bus interchange, tweeted: “We will be joining #StrawFreeChester in both shops over the next few weeks. Every little helps.”

And the Revolution cocktail bar and restaurant in Foregate Street tweeted: “We halfed our straw usage in cocktails earlier this year & we have now also removed straws from our spirit & mixer drinks!”

The #StrawFreeChester campaign aims to make Chester the first city in the UK to be free of single-use plastic drinking straws by asking businesses and organisations not to give out straws automatically, to encourage people to refuse to use plastic straws, and calling for any straws in use to be biodegradable.

Dr Dunn, a lecturer and scientist from Hoole, has estimated that about 300,000 straws a day are used in the city.

He said: “We want everyone in the city to realise what a complete waste using a plastic drinking straw is, and we need their support to get the ball rolling,” said Dr Dunn, who works at Bangor University.

“You use a straw for about 20 minutes to drink your Coke or gin and tonic and then it goes straight in the bin.

“But that little drinking straw will stick around for hundreds of years because most of the plastic we use simply gets dumped into landfill, and plastic doesn’t breakdown like cardboard or paper.

“What’s worse is that lots of plastic finds its way into our natural habitats, especially the seas and oceans where it can cause horrendous harm.

“In fact, some research has shown that plastic waste causes the death of up to one million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and countless fish every year.

“Plus, tiny fragments of plastic can find their way into the food chain and even end-up on our dinner plates.”

For more information visit