PLASTIC straws have been banned from the Scottish Parliament in a bid to cut down on waste.

Holyrood has become the first parliament building in the UK to ban the single-use straws – with hopes other public bodies will now follow suit.

It comes amid widespread concerns over the spread of plastic and the damage it causes to wildlife and the environment.

Kate Forbes MSP, who has been spearheading the Final Straw campaign, hailed the announcement.

She said: “Whilst I’m campaigning for public bodies and businesses to ditch plastic straws, its important I start close to home and so I’m delighted that the Scottish Parliament has stopped stocking plastic straws and will only give out a biodegradable alternative when requested.

“The Scottish Parliament has long lead the way on environmental initiatives, and this is obviously another way in which it is striving to improve what it does.

“I give full credit to the catering team and Sir Paul Grice, chief executive, for their rapid response to my letter asking them to consider ditching plastic straws.

“If those who need straws ask for one, it will be available.

“If the Scottish Parliament can do this, then I hope it encourages more councils and other public bodies to follow suit.

“The Scottish Parliament might be in the middle of Edinburgh, but we know that plastic litter travels far and wide with recent reports suggesting there is as much plastic litter on rural islands as the centre of a big city.”

It is understood Holyrood’s cafes, bars and restaurants were using around 4,000 plastic drinking straws a year.