MASTERCHEF winner Shelina Permalloo is to ditch plastic straws from her restaurant in Southampton to help save marine life.

Shelina won television’s Masterchef in 2012 and opened her first restaurant, Lakaz Maman in Southampton in the city in 2016.

Now she has decided to ditch plastic straws from her business to help save the environment.

She said: “ Even though we have some drinks where we really need straws for decorations, it is not a good enough reason to keep using them.

“It takes us 20 minutes to use a straw and 500 years for that to dispose in the environment. "

Shelina said she believes her restaurant is the first in the city to ditch plastic straws.

She said her decision comes after she watched a video online of a sea turtle having a straw removed from its nostril.

“It’s horrible what plastic does to the environment. Single use plastic can have a big impact,” she added.

She is now hoping that her customers will understand and said she will try to reduce the use of plastic in her restaurant as much as she can.

“I want people to understand the concept behind it and why we are doing it”, she said.

Shelina said she also started using cardboard bags for deliveries and bamboo spoons for takeaway soups.

“Alternatives to plastic can be quite expensive for small businesses but we are going to be looking into other options,” she said.

Shelina shot to fame when she won the BBC cooking programme by wowing the judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with her tropical dishes and got the title of ‘Mango Queen’.