Falmouth University and the University of Exeter in Cornwall are getting behind the movement against plastic pollution and are removing all plastic straws from the Falmouth and Penryn campuses.

As part of the work to make all campus activity more sustainable, no more plastic straws will be offered at catering outlets, and instead, biodegradable versions will be available.

The decision follows similar moves by big-name brands including Wetherspoons and Pizza Express, and a Government commitment to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Peter Cox, chief operating officer at Falmouth University, said: “In Cornwall, the impact of plastic waste, particularly on our beautiful coasts, is startlingly obvious. It’s essential that we rethink the way in which we use plastic products and with so many alternatives available, it’s easy to do. We’re pleased to be taking this first step and are looking at introducing many more.”

Professor David Hosken, dean of strategic development, Exeter University in Cornwall, added: “There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, with an estimated ten per cent of the plastics we produce ending up in the sea.

"Researchers from the University of Exeter are leading the way in documenting the impacts this has on marine life. The environment and sustainability underpin much of the ethos of the Penryn Campus and Exeter’s research in Cornwall, so it is important we are leading by example and taking measures to reduce our use of plastic.”

Other steps to reduce plastic waste on campus include a ten pence discount on hot drinks for customers who provide their own reusable mugs, and only offering biodegradable cutlery with takeaway products.