PLASTIC straws have been banned from all restaurants, cafes and bars in one remote village after a campaign by primary school pupils.

Ullapool in Ross-shire is thought to be the first place in the UK to have banned the products.

Residents in the coastal village said they “constantly” see the impact of a throwaway attitude to plastic, both on the beaches and in our seas.

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And now the 14 bars, restaurants and cafes in the village, which is home to around 1,500 people, are using non-plastic alternatives, or have stopped offering drinking straws altogether.

The last remaining outlet, the town’s supermarket, has even agreed to stop stocking plastic straws early next year.

Pupils at Ullapool Primary School joined forces with Glasgow’s Sunnyside Primary School to lobby businesses as part of the #NaeStrawAtAw campaign.

Caillín Erin Patterson, 11, is one of the pupils at Ullapool who went door-to-door round local businesses in a bid to persuade them to stop using plastic straws.

She said: “There's no need for plastic straws. If you do use a straw it shouldn't be a throwaway one.

"We're killing our seas with single-use plastic and it's just not necessary.”

A spokesman for the Seaforth Hotel in Ullapool praised the young pupils for their "fantastic work" on the issue.

"The Seaforth is proud to be a part of the #NaeStrawsAtAw campaign," he said.

"We're thrilled that the children from Ullapool Primary and Sunnyside Primary are making such a huge difference.

"The Seaforth is passionate about keeping the oceans clean. We have a great history in fishery and we are well known for our delicious seafood dishes.

"We will continue to support Ullapool primary and Sunnyside primary in their campaign."

Recent figures from the Marine Conservation Society suggest that Scotland's beaches are the dirtiest they have ever been, with a six per cent rise in litter in the past year.

A total of 1,588 volunteers taking part in the charity's annual beach clean collected a haul of 57,961 litter items from 111 Scottish beaches.

Food and drinks litter like cups, cup lids and straws accounted for up to 20 per cent of all rubbish found on beaches.

Sir David Attenborough's latest TV series, Blue Planet II, also focused on the damage being caused by plastic litter.

The presenter said there were many examples of the impacts of pollution as he highlighted the "heartbreaking" moment an albatross fed its chick plastic instead of fish in a sequence filmed for the show.

"There's a shot of the young being fed, and what comes out of the mouth of the beak of the adult? "Not sandeels, not fish, not squid. It's plastic and it's heartbreaking, heartbreaking," he said.

"The poor chick has been waiting there for days for food and is given nothing.

"That's a very dramatic example but that sort of thing applies throughout the ocean."

In September, a group of children from Sunnyside Primary in Craigend, known as the Ocean Defenders, travelled to Ullapool and highlighted the impact of plastic straws on marine life.

After they left, the Ullapool children continued their campaign and managed to persuade all local businesses to ditch plastic straws entirely.

The project was supported by Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Communities Officer Noel Hawkins who said the achievement is “wholly down to pupil-power”.

He said: “The children from Sunnyside Primary School have done a great deal to raise awareness within Glasgow and their enthusiasm rubbed off on the local kids when they came to Ullapool in September.

“The pupils went door-to-door to speak directly to businesses, and this has clearly had an impact.

“Living on the coast means we constantly see the impact of a throwaway attitude to plastic, both on our beaches and in our seas.

“Finding plastic drinking straws during beach cleans is particularly frustrating because there alternative products are available.

“This may be a small step towards reducing the amount of plastic in our seas, but if the #NaeStrawAtAw campaign can be successful in Ullapool it can work anywhere.

“All it takes is for people to be aware there are alternatives to plastic straws, and say no if they are offered one in a pub or a restaurant.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "This is an example to communities across the country of the bold steps they can take to protect our marine environment."