Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton has vowed to eradicate plastic waste from his restaurants by 1 June – starting with the scrapping of plastic straws.
Atherton, the Cateys 2017 Restaurateur of the Year – Group winner, said all nine of his London restaurants would stop serving straws immediately as he backed the Evening Standard‘s “The Last Straw” campaign.
The chef told the London paper: “It is heartbreaking to see how much plastic we are using — there is no need for it.”
He continued: “Across the group the number of cocktails and glasses of cokes that we were serving with straws was ridiculous. For a glass of Coca-Cola my message would be ‘do you really need one, you’re not a seven-year-old child, you can sip a glass like everyone else’.”
Atherton’s Social Company, which he runs with his wife Irha, has nine sites in London, including his flagship Pollen Street Social and Little Social, in London’s Mayfair.
The group has 17 restaurants worldwide and was awarded the 2017 British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Business Achievement Award.
Atherton said his awareness was raised by a documentary showing a man walking on a beach in India “up to his waist in plastic”.
A few days later he saw 100 single-use bottles arrive at Pollen Street Social and decided to take action.
Atherton joins companies including D&D London, Oakman Inns, Liberation Group, Halloumi Glasgow, Hawksmoor, JD Wetherspoon and the Breakfast Club in banning straws after campaigns highlighted their devastating impact on wildlife.