PRIMARY pupils described as a “force of nature” have persuaded two major players to quit using plastic straws.

Environmental campaigners from Sunnyside Primary School have convinced Glasgow City Council to ban straws.

Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) has also pledged to stop offering plastic straws on its ferries thanks to the youngsters’ persuasive skills.

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Calling themselves the Sunnyside Ocean Defenders, pupils from the school in Craigend lobbied the council, highlighting the environmental impact of the products.

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Now Encore, the local authority's commercial catering division, will stop providing straws with customers’ drinks from the end of February. People who ask for one will receive an eco-friendly alternative.

The use of pre-packaged drinks supplied with plastic straws will also be reviewed to see if more environmentally friendly options are feasible.

Councillor Anna Richardson, convenor for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Sunnyside Primary School’s #NaeStrawAtAw campaign has been the deciding factor in this move and the pupils are to be congratulated on their impressive lobbying skills.

“They are a true force of nature – highlighting the plight of marine wildlife and encouraging businesses to join their campaign."

“It is an absolute pleasure to announce Glasgow City Council’s backing for the campaign which will help protect our marine environment for wildlife and future generations.”

The decision applies to more than 26 cafes in museums, sports centres, offices, schools and the City Chambers.

It will prevent tens of thousands of plastic straws a year going to landfill.

Dropped straws can also be blown into rivers and washed into the sea where they threaten seabirds, turtles, whales and dolphins. Micro plastics can also get into the food chain if eaten by fish.

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CalMac has also signed up to the campaign, which has already seen Ullapool in Wester Ross become what is believed to be the first village in the UK to halt use of plastic straws in all bars, restaurants and cafes.

The remote community made the move after pupils from the primary school linked up with their peers at Sunnyside.

Lisa Perrie, principal teacher of Sunnyside Primary, said the children were "absolutely thrilled" to have Glasgow City Council on board.

“It shows the children they can make a big difference in the world and that their views really matter," she said.

Last week, the school’s Ocean Defenders won support from Best Bar None Glasgow - which runs an annual awards scheme involving almost 100 pubs, clubs and licensed premises in the city.

Venues that reduce plastic straw usage are to receive extra credits in the awards, which recognise good practice among the licensed trade.

Follow #NaeStrawAtAw on twitter to hear the latest on the pupils’ campaign which was carried out as part of their Schools Charter work.

Sunnyside Ocean Defenders, whose environmental campaign has been going since 2011, have even been leaving Theresa May running to catch up, with the Prime Minister recently announcing a pledge to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK within 25 years.

Other firms have already joined the call to cut plastic use.

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In an unconnected move, Pret a Manger and Wagamama announced last week an end to automatically providing plastic straws to customers.

Instead, a paper alternative will be offered and plastic straws will be available only on request.

Trade organisation Plastics Europe said the UK uses 3.7 million tonnes of plastic a year. while a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting estimates that EU countries use 36.4 billon straws each year.

Wagamama’s new policy will come into into force on Earth Day, April 22.

Last year pub chain JD Wetherspoon said it would be providing paper straws rather than plastic ones in its bars and McDonald’s has said it is exploring ways to reduce straw consumption.

In October last year the Evening Times told how Sunnyside Ocean Defenders had been cleaning up beaches in the north of Scotland.

Some 10 youngsters travelled to the Highlands where they joined forced with Ullapool Primary School.

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During their week long visit the Ocean Defenders had the chance to explore the area through activities organised by NW Living Seas Community Liaison Officer, Noel Hawkins.

Pupils had the chance to work with marine experts including Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust; WDC Shorewatch group and dolphin photographer Charlie Phillips.