PLASTIC straws are now barred from Inverclyde's biggest nightclub in a bid to cut down on harmful waste.

The owners of Word Up in Greenock have stopped providing customers with them in a bid to become more environmentally-friendly.

Bosses from WBI Group say they were going through around thousands of straws every week.

A number of local premises, including pubs, have also stopped providing straws or switched to more eco-friendly paper versions.

Alex McGilp, operations director of WBI Group, said: "We're taking our lead from the Drastic on Plastic campaign to take action now.

"We were using around 5,000 a week and they're not recyclable.

"We want to do our bit for the environment."

The UK Government is expected to introduce a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in the near future following the ban on microbeads in cosmetics, such as face washes and toothpastes, and the 5p carrier bag charge.

Plastic has been identified as a major pollutant of oceans and waterways across the globe, causing damage to marine, plant and wildlife.

It's estimated that 8.5 billion straws are thrown away in the UK each year and Prime Minister Theresa May called plastic waste 'one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world'.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight after Sir David Attenborough highlighted the extent of the problem in the award-winning BBC series Blue Planet 2.

Word Up chiefs are keen to do their bit and say the straw ban is just the first step.

Mr McGilp said: "We will work with our suppliers going forward to try and eliminate all single-use plastics, such as bottles.

"I think there will come a point in time when the Scottish Government will fall in line with the UK Government and take action against single-use plastic and we're trying to pre-empt that with an environmental conscience.

"I'd like to think everybody is aware of this problem through Blue Planet and the impact on sea life."