PLASTIC straws are being banned by a Wickwar-based pub firm.

Wickwar Wessex Pub Company, which runs the The Star Inn in Wotton-under-Edge and more than a dozen others in the region, made the decision to do its bit to reduce plastic waste.

All of the firm’s pubs, which use almost half a million straws each year, will now start offering innovative biodegradable straws made using vegetable extract.

Plastic waste has been a hot topic nationally in recent weeks after its impact was highlighted in the BBC’s Blue Planet II.

Darren Earl, Wickwar’s head of operations, said: “These changes mean we will remove almost half a million plastic straws, used annually across our business.

“This move demonstrates our commitment in helping to preserve our environment, by reducing the amount of non-recyclable plastic waste that we produce.”

The new straws will be supplied by Vegware and are designed to degrade in just a few weeks.

In a move which was also made by national pub chain JD Wetherspoon last year, straws will no longer be automatically given at the bar with customers encouraged to help it further reduce waste by not using one.