The Plastic Straw is No More!

Blog | Ben at Sennen Cornwall

I have been working as a barman at Ben Tunnicliffe Sennen Cove for just over a year now. During this time I have met a lot of great people and learnt a whole load of new skills.

My career as an artist continues to occupy me in my spare time, and the rest of the year when the outside bar is closed. At first I thought it best to separate the art from the bar job, but as any artist will tell you, art is inseparable from life, and good art addresses the issues and times in which it is made.

One of the themes running through my artwork is the environmental impact of surfers in the landscape. The ‘Toxic Paradox’ of plastic surfboards and petrochemical derived neoprene wetsuits, inspired the multi-coloured Surf Flower prints, guests can see hanging on the wall in the Restaurant.

So, handing out single-use plastics in the shape of straws and stirrers with the drinks I served really bothered me. Several times as I walked across the beach on my way to surf in my break time, I stopped to pick up plastic straws that could had come from drinks I had served in the bar.

Plastic in the marine environment is a real problem. It endangers sea life and takes decades to start to break down. Plastic floats in the marine environment and takes up around 40% of the ocean surface. Plastic waste traps and drowns sea mammals, it is ingested by fish and ends up in our food chain, the results of which are not yet fully understood.

The Cornwall based charity, Surfers Against Sewage along with many others, have been highlighting this issue for a long time. They are currently running a resist the plastic campaign .There are also some great films you can watch explaining the scope and consequences of the problem.

Some uses of plastic are essential, (not many) but things such as single–use throwaway plastic straws are not, so we have decided at Ben Tunnicliffe Sennen Cove  not to offer you a plastic straw with your drink at the moment.  We are currently researching suppliers of alternative – paper straws or biodegradable straws, of which we keep a small stock for those guests who really want one.