Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Paper bee straws are creating a plastic-free buzz around Greater Manchester


Bee-themed paper straws have been launched at bars and restaurants across Greater Manchester as part of a step-change approach to eradicating single-use plastics across Greater Manchester.

Their arrival is part of a growing range of initiatives that all contribute towards the Mayor’s aim of a plastic-free Greater Manchester by 2020 and supporting the wider Green City Region portfolio led by Councillor Alex Ganotis.

The straws are made entirely from paper and are embossed with the now iconic Manchester bee design.

More than 130 businesses within the hospitality and catering industries have signed up to the Plastic Free Greater Manchester Pledge that aims to eradicate avoidable, single-use plastics within the sector. The straws are part of a much larger campaign supported by Corin Bell, Director of social enterprise Real Junk Food Manchester, who’s providing plastic and waste audits for businesses alongside the straws and point of sale information.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “This is just the first step towards meeting our ambitious target against single-use plastics and I urge all bars, restaurants, and hotels to get on board with the campaign. Your involvement will make a real difference to the fight against plastic pollution.

Eliminating the use of avoidable single-use plastics is no easy task and can only be achieved by working together and I commend those who’ve already joined us. Thanks to Corin and Henry for their continued support. They’re great examples of business leaders championing change.”

Corin Bell, Director of Real Junk Food Manchester, is supporting the campaign providing plastics and waste audits, supported by local sustainability organisations Manchester Friends of the Earth and SeaStraw. She said: “The plastic and waste audits are a great way to support businesses making the right choices. There are a lot of so called ‘eco’ products on the market and we’re committed to providing clear and practical advice to food and drink businesses that sets them up to succeed in making sustainable choices.”

The straws have been developed by Stockport based catering equipment suppliers Stephensons.

Henry Stephenson, Managing Director of Stephensons, said: “The interest in the paper straws has been fantastic and shows how businesses of all shapes and sizes are ready to sign up and play their part in a plastic free Greater Manchester. The first batch will hit bars and restaurants this week and many more have made a commitment to take part.” 

Notes to editors

Businesses can sign up to the GM Plastic Free Pledge at  and then contact sales or all 0161 483 6256

Tourism and hospitality businesses who’ve ordered the straws being delivered this week:

Town House Hotel

Northumberland Arms, Compstall

Manchester Airport

Robinsons Brewery

Hydes Brewery

Albert Schloss

Bars @ Yours

Common Ground



Double Tree By Hilton

Dough Pizza Kitchen

Fabulous Fan Fayre Limited


Hornsmill at Helsby

Hotel Indigo Manchester

Manchester Central


Marble Beers

Princess St. Hotel

San Carlo   (Manchester)

The Beehive Inn, Combs

The Firbank Pub And Kitchen

The Lowry Centre

The Lowry Hotel

Upper House Hayfield

Article Published: 14/12/2018 14:41 PM