MORE than 30 businesses in Chester have now pledged their support for a campaign to rid the city of plastic drinking straws.

Having signed up to #StrawFreeChester, they will no longer give out straws with their drinks and will eventually move over to compostable or reusable ones.

Campaigners say this means they could officially class Chester as ‘straw-free’ – though they stress there’s plenty more to do.

Dr Christian Dunn, who is a lecturer at Bangor University but is based in the city, launched #StrawFreeChester last year.

“We set ourselves the target of getting 30 businesses to go ‘straw-free’ based on a set of guidelines from the environmental group, Surfers Against Sewage,” said Dr Dunn.

“We never thought we’d reach it so quickly – but everyone in Chester has been fantastically supportive.”

“Although we could officially say we’re ‘straw-free’ we’re not stopping until we really are the first city in the UK to stop using plastic drinking straws everywhere – and we have even bigger plans for Chester!” the father-of-two added.

The #StrawFreeChester campaign has been so successful that the campaigners are now stepping up their efforts and aiming to make Chester ‘plastic-free’, as part of #PlasticFreeChester.

They plan on gaining accreditation for this through the Surfers Against Sewage, Plastic Free Coastlines project.

Campaigner Helen Tandy, who is coordinator at Friends of the Earth Chester and District, said: “We need to get businesses in the city to stop using three different types of single-use plastics, and any type of company or organisation can get involved – so if you’re interested please get in-touch.

“We also looking for volunteers to help out as ‘plastic free pioneers’ to help show just how important the fight against plastic waste is.”

* A meeting for anyone interested in getting involved with the campaign will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at 7.30pm in the the Old Custom House Inn, Chester.

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