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Biodegradable straws causing a stir among Norwich bar owners

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 20 September 2017

George Wickham, owner of Summit Supplies, pictured with the biodegradable straws which he sells. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

George Wickham, owner of Summit Supplies, pictured with the biodegradable straws which he sells. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

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A supplier to the hospitality industry is helping pubs and bars around Norwich to call time on plastic straws after stocking up with an eco-friendly alternative.

Summit Supplies began supplying biodegradable straws this summer and was met with an immediately high demand. Owner George Wickham said his first batch of the Chinese straws, made from a by-product of rice farming, sold out in less than a week. He expects his next order of up to 100,000 straws to also fly off the shelves.

“The UK did not have big stocks of biodegradable straws before,” he said. “They are pennies more expensive than the normal ones, so you have to ask the question: Why would you not change?”

Bar owners in the city have already expressed their support for The Last Plastic Straw Campaign, a global effort to reduce the use of straws or swap plastic for reusable materials, including Mr Wickham’s neighbour, Mike Baxter of Gonzo’s Tearoom.

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