California-based restaurant company Bon Appétit is set to ban plastic straws and stirrers at its 1,000 cafés and restaurants across 33 US states.

The company has made this decision as part of its ‘foodservice for a sustainable future’ promise and has scheduled the plastic phase out to be complete by September 2019.

Bon Appétit CEO and co-founder Fedele Bauccio said: “The plastic problem is horrific. When I heard the stats and learned how much damage is being done by straws, a product of convenience, my gut reaction was we have to change this.”

“We can no longer rely on half measures to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.”

The company purchased 16.8 million plastic straws and almost 420,000 plastic stirrers during the financial year 2017. It also purchased 9.1 million long set wooden stirrers during the same period.

Bon Appétit plans to offer paper straws for physically challenged customers, as well as guests who request for a straw.

The restaurant chain will educate guests about the hazards of using plastic straws to the environment.

Greenpeace USA campaigner Kate Melges said: “Bon Appétit’s move to eliminate single-use plastic straws sends a resounding signal to US companies that the time for change is upon us.

“Its policy shows strong leadership within the foodservice sector, and most importantly proves to all companies that rely on throwaway plastics that it can be done.

“We can no longer rely on half measures to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. Companies must reduce their plastic footprints to save our communities, waterways, and oceans. This decision provides a tremendous foundation for Bon Appétit to build upon.”