ENVIRONMENTALISTS have backed SNP MSP Kate Forbes’s bid for a ban on plastic straws.

Support from the Marine Conservation Society came as the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP officially launched her Final Straw campaign.

Forbes, whose constituency covers the east and west coasts of Scotland, is highlighting the damage caused by single-use disposable plastic items to both the onshore and marine environments in Scotland.

Forbes, who sits on the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Reform Committee, held the launch at the Royal Hotel in Cromarty, one of the first businesses in her constituency to ditch plastic straws in favour of paper biodegradable ones.

Forbes said: “I represent a constituency where I can see the impact of plastics on our seas. Along our coastline, plastics are choking our seas, damaging the environment and risking the lives of seabirds and sea creatures, and one of the most common plastic items on the beach is plastic straws.

“The ridiculous thing is most people don’t ask for a straw and don’t want one, but pubs and restaurants automatically pop it in their glass. I am asking pubs and restaurants to stop doing so and to only provide biodegradable alternatives.

“If you agree with that, and that governments must take more action, sign up to my campaign petition at finalstraw.scot.”

Marine Conservation Society Scotland conservation officer Catherine Gemmell said: “It is fantastic to see Kate Forbes call for a ban on plastic straws as they are one of the many single-use plastic items we find rising in numbers on our beaches, in our seas and impacting our wildlife.

“Our seas should not have to pay the price for a throwaway culture.”