Time please! In the Drink charity calls for Richmond pubs to ditch single-use plastic cups

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.

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