And the uptake of paper straws as an alternative is being encouraged.
Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan called for a concerted effort to stamp out plastic straws “due to the environmental damage they cause”.
Mr Boylan, Sinn Fein’s environment spokesperson, said: “Plastic is a pollutant. It ends up in the ocean, entangling and endangering aquatic life.
“It finds its way into our food chain and water supply, threatening human health. And when it breaks down it releases toxins which contribute to global warming.
“One practical step we can take is to reduce the use of plastic straws.
“A straw may only be used for 20 minutes but it will last as waste for over 200 years. Most straws end up in landfills or oceans.
“Everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment and there are viable alternatives to plastic such as paper straws.
“Many restaurants and cafes have already replaced plastic straws with more environmentally friendly alternatives and I am calling on all individuals and businesses to ‘de-straw’.”
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