Biodegradable paper straws are to replace plastic straws in Western Isles hospitals’
dining rooms in an effort to help reduce the impact of plastic waste on the planet.
The move covering Western Isles Hospital and Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh is part
of a commitment to environmental sustainability.
Used for a few minutes then discarded, once in the environment, plastic straws do
not decompose, persisting for hundreds – perhaps thousands – of years, gradually
breaking into smaller and smaller pieces that can be eaten by wildlife.
A rising tide of plastic is ending up in oceans around the world, killing and injuring
seabirds, fish, turtles and whales, and contaminating the planet.
Estimates suggest as much as 12 million tonnes is entering the marine environment
annually. Straws are a particular hazard. Small and light plastic items like straws
are strewn in the ocean and on landfill sites - even though they may only have been
used for the time it takes to finish a drink.
Cal Mac and the comhairle have also pledged to get stop using plastic straws.