Plastic straws and cotton buds could be banned in England to prevent pollution

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away every year in the UK

Plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds could be banned in England under new government measures announced at the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit.

A consultation is planned to be held later this year on the ban which aims to prevent plastic from polluting oceans and rivers.

Government has proposed that plastic straws for medical reasons will be exempt.

It has also promised to work with industry to develop alternatives and ensure there is enough time to adapt.

Approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away every year in the UK.

The news follows the ban of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in Scotland announced in January this year.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “We’ve already seen a number of retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use, however it’s only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation – we all have a role to play in turning the tide on plastic.”

Prime Minister Theresa May will also call on all other Commonwealth countries to join in the ‘fight against plastic pollution’.


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