The retailer's commitment to reduce the impact plastic has on the environment will see all its cafes replacing plastic straws with paper versions from the end of April 2018. This means 600,000 straws a year will be converted to a home compostable material which is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

The supermarket has already announced that it will not sell packs of single-use plastic straws from September 2018. All Waitrose cafes offer non-plastic crockery and all drinks stirrers are made out of wood.

This builds on the industry leading steps Waitrose has already taken to reduce the risk of plastic reaching marine life. In September 2016 the retailer stopped selling items containing microbeads and exclusively sells paper stem cotton buds.

Waitrose has committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable, or home compostable by 2025. Since 2009 it has reduced its overall packaging by nearly 50% and 80% of its packaging is widely recyclable.

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at Waitrose, said:

''Phasing out single-use plastic straws in our cafes and on shelves shows how seriously we are taking their impact on the environment.

''Plastic straws may seem insignificant but their impact on wildlife can be devastating. We hope this step will make a positive contribution to our environment.''