An anti-plastic pollution charity is calling on Richmond pubs to use reusable cups to protect marine life and the environment.
In the Drink, a community interest group which counts comedian Bill Bailey as one of its supporters, is campaigning for businesses to use alternatives to single-use plastics.
It comes after Richmond council declared a climate emergency, with a recent study by the University of London and the Natural History Museum finding that over a quarter of fish in the Thames contain micro-plastics.
In the Drink co-founder Alison Barker said: “Hundreds of millions of single-use plastic cups are served every summer by London riverside pubs – somehow this became standard practice in the pub industry.
“The cups blow into waterways, cause public bins to overflow and very rarely get recycled.
“It’s high time the industry sets a new standard based on longevity, not disposability.”
The call is catching on, with Twickenham pub The White Swan introducing reusable cups to replace single-use ones on busy rugby match days.
Customers often return their cup to the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI), a charity the pub supports, so that it can redeem the deposit.
Manager Elaine Duncanson said: “It was a bit of a leap as we only have a small washing area in our listed pub, but it’s worked brilliantly, and customers prefer these cups to the old throwaways.”
In the Drink also recommends non-plastic options such as using paper straws in drinks and buying condiments in bulk.
For more information visit the In the Drink website.