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Plastic straws banned in England

Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds have been banned in England. The measure comes into effect today following a delay from April.

plastic straws and other single use items have been banned in England.

Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds are now banned in England. Originally the measure was set to start in April however it is only coming into force in October. The business of selling or supplying these items is now illegal in the UK.

A considerable amount of national restaurant chains had already ditched plastic straws before the ban was announced.

Single-use plastic banned in England

The measures come after the data revealed that people in England use an estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds each year.

Environmental campaigners approve of the ban but want further action to be taken on other single-use items. People with disabilities or medical conditions that require products such as plastic straws will be exempt from the rule in hospitals, bars and restaurants.

George Eustice, Environment Secretary, said the government was “firmly committed” to tackling environmental “devastation” caused by single-use plastics. He also stated that the government intends to create a 5p deposit scheme to encourage recycling of single-use drinks containers. The Welsh government is considering a similar ban on such plastics. Friends of the Earth spokesperson, Sion Elis Williams, said ministers “must also do more to challenge our throwaway culture by forcing a shift away from all single-use materials in favour of reusable alternatives”.

A spokesperson from the environmental law charity ClientEarth, Tatiana Lujan, said the ban on these products was a “no-brainer” saying that straws, cotton buds and stirrers were “some of the most pointless plastics out there”. However, she still wasn’t happy (are they ever?), stating that other countries such as Ireland and France had “shown far more ambition”.


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