PARTYGOERS are being urged to go without straws in drinks this festive season in a drive to cut plastic waste.

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes called on bars, cafes and restaurants to also stop routinely offering plastic straws to help protect the environment.

The issue of plastic pollution has gathered momentum with the screening of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, which includes moving scenes of the damage to the world’s oceans and their inhabitants.

It is estimated around eight million tonnes of plastic reaches the sea every year and by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

Earlier this week Ullapool was hailed after all 14 bars, restaurants and cafes in the town are either removing straws altogether or switching to non-plastic ones.

SNP MSP Forbes said for many giving up straws would be an easy first step in reducing the amount of waste created by single-use disposable plastic.

She said: “Plastic straws can pose a risk to wildlife on land and form part of the eight million tonnes of plastic waste jettisoned into our seas each year.

“This isn’t a situation that can just continue unchecked. Fundamental change in behaviour is needed from the ground up — people making an active choice not to use single-use plastic products.

“The straw should be easy to give up for most people. That’s why this Christmas and New Year I’m encouraging folk to think before they order their drinks and go straw-free.”