The Italian chain has now vowed to remove plastic straws (stock image) from all of its UK restaurants by the summer
Pizza Express has banned plastic straws from all of its restaurants after a five-year-old girl wrote them a letter asking them to stop using them.
The youngster, called Ava, begged the restaurant chain to stop handing them out to its customers because they are ‘very bad for animals’.
She added that they can get ‘stuck in their mouths and noses’ and the company admitted it started to reconsider after receiving her letter.
It has now promised that all of its 460 British eateries will stop using plastic straws and will instead switch to biodegradable alternatives.
These straws are typically made from paper and corn starch and are likely to be used nationwide by the summer.
In her letter, Ava wrote: ‘To Pizza Express, my name is Ava. I am writing because me and my brothers eat in Pizza Express a lot.
‘When I get my drink it always has a plastic straw in it. I am writing to please ask you to stop using plastic straws as they are very bad for animals. They can get stuck in their mouths and noses.
‘Could you only use straws if people ask for them as I don’t want any animals to get sick.’
The company said that it ‘prides itself’ on listening to its customers and said it persuaded them to make a change.
Pizza Express, which had been handing out 1.8million plastic straws in London each year, wrote online: ‘We pride ourselves on listening to our customers.
The young girl, called Ava, wrote this letter to Pizza Express and asked them to stop using straws
‘So when Ava, aged five, sent us a letter asking us to stop putting plastic straws in her drink because ‘they are very bad for animals’, it spurred us to make a change.
‘We are now phasing out single-use plastic straws from all our 470+ restaurants from this summer, and we’ll be replacing them with biodegradable and recyclable paper versions.’
It comes as it was revealed that tons of plastic collected for recycling from British homes is being shipped and dumped on sites across the world.
A huge amount of plastic rubbish is being sent overseas on the basis that it will be recycled and turned into new products.
However, much of it is being dumped or buried from Poland to Hong Kong and Thailand, according to a new investigation.
Every year British households throw 22 million tons of waste into the bin. Recycling rates have stagnated at some 44per cent and the UK is unlikely to hit a target of 50per cent by 2020.
The chain said it only decided to consider removing the plastic straws from its diners after receiving a letter from a five-year-old girl