SuperValu’s TidyTowns committee is aspiring to make Westport in Co. Mayo the first town in Ireland to eliminate the use of plastic straws.
The idea to eradicate single-use straws first came about during a meeting of the Westport TidyTowns committee convened to discuss initiatives that would improve life in the town.
It is also the committee’s entry into the 2018 SuperValu TidyTowns competition - which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.
Liam Campion, manager at SuperValu Westport, said, “We encourage young people to get involved in the TidyTowns committee because they are the future of our town, and the idea to get rid of straws came from the transition year students on the junior committee.
“We were coming up with different ideas and the teenagers said that all the pubs around have plastic straws – if we could get them all to get rid of them in one go, that would be something.”
Campion’s SuperValue Westport is a Kavanagh Group-owned store which has sponsored the town’s TidyTowns activities since the 1990s.
Campion added that some of the businesses on the committee are vintners who have all committed to using biodegradable straws from June 1st onwards. There are approximately 10 hotels and 30 pubs in Westport, and the committee is confident the rest of the vintners will come on board.
Preserving The Coast
Westport has previously won the TidyTowns competition on three occasions and has led various sustainability initiatives in the town independent of the competition. Kavanagh's Westport store allows customers to leave plastic-packaging in-store after they do their shopping.
Rhona Chambers, a Westport TidyTowns committee member, said, “We are a coastal town and want to preserve the wildlife and nature in Westport, so getting rid of plastic straws helps us to do that.”
Chambers said that the next step for the committee is to convince coffee shops, takeaways, food stalls and supermarkets to follow suit in the biodegradable straws initiative.
“The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is all about businesses and communities working together to make a difference and we hope that by eliminating plastic straws we can make a difference to Westport,” Chambers added.
Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, said, “This is the kind of forward-thinking initiative that the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is all about.
"Westport TidyTowns has got the next generation involved and through this innovative idea is reducing the environmental impact on the town and its surroundings. As Ireland’s leading, community-based, sustainable retailer, we support their efforts to reduce single-use plastics.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.