United Kingdom government considers plastic straw ban

21 April, 2018, 13:57 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • Plastic straws have contributed to plastic pollution in oceans and waterways

Plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds are set to be banned from sale in England under new government plans.

The announcement comes as Prime Minister Theresa May launched the newly-formed Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance, which will aim to reduce marine litter and plastic waste pollution. Some uses of plastic straws could be exempt from the ban due to medical reasons.

Pernod Ricard, Diageo, Bacardi and the Scotch Whisky Association have all announced plans to remove non-biodegradable straws and stirrers from their activities.

However, in a new move by the British government, these little plastic sticks that help us out on a daily basis could soon be banned from our shops and makeup bags.

"The Commonwealth is a unique organisation with a huge diversity of wildlife, and environments - so it is vital we act now", May is expected to say, as per The Guardian.

Straws and swabs may be banned in Britain along with other plastic products in order to cut down on plastic waste- and the U.K.is urging other Commonwealth nations to follow suit. Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, pointed out that the plastic problem goes beyond straws and drinks stirrers.

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May announced the consultation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which May has also used to launch a £61-million fund to tackle plastic pollution, along with the creation of a new global partnership, the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance, jointly led by the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Prime minister Theresa May is using the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in London as a launch pad for the initiative, which will see consultation about the ban beginning later this year.

Last month, the British government vowed to introduce a deposit return for bottles and cans and a tax on single-use coffee cups is also in the works.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove revealed earlier this year that ministers were looking at outlawing plastic straws.

Environmental lobby groups have long campaigned for retailers to phase out non-recyclable plastic products. "We look forward to seeing these front and centre within the Government's emerging resources and waste strategy".

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