England eyes complete plastic straw banOn 07/08/2019 by admin
Plastic straws may be banned for use in England in a year’s time after consultations are completed.The UK government is pushing to have plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds banned throughout England in a bid to help protect the world’s oceans and wildlife.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched a consultation into how to ban the items with the ban looking at being enacted between October 2019 and October 2020.
The consultation process, which applies to England only, will consider exemptions to make sure people who need plastics to deal with medical conditions or accessibility issues are not affected.
Under the plan, pharmacies would still be able to sell plastic straws and restaurants, pubs and bars would stock them for use on request only.
It is estimated that 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used each year in England.
Gove said the ban would be a boost to efforts to “turn the tide on plastic pollution”.
“Our precious oceans and the wildlife within need urgent protection from the devastation throw-away plastic items can cause,” he said.
“In England we are taking world-leading action with our ban on microbeads, and thanks to the public’s support have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p charge.
“I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more.”
Greenpeace UK’s political adviser Sam Chetan Welsh commended ministers for doing “the sensible thing”, but urged big companies to do more by cutting down on plastic packaging.
He said: “Our society’s addiction to throwaway plastic is fuelling a global environmental crisis that must be tackled.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, welcomed the consultation, saying many restaurants and hotels have already begun taking action to cut down on plastics.