Environment secretary Michael Gove confirms Defra's plans to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Pupils of Wilberforce Primary with environment secretary Michael Gove

Environment secretary Michael Gove repeated his promise to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds at a Westminster school last week.

Speaking to the children at Wilberforce Primary, Gove explained the steps being taken by government to reduce single-use plastic.

The school is currently taking part of an environmental project ‘ A Future Without Rubbish’, which educates children about sustainability.

As part of the project, pupils are being encouraged to reduce their single-use plastics and cut food waste.

Defra announced in October it would be launching a consultation looking at the finer details of the ban and when it will come into force.

Gove said: “I’m delighted the next generation are being inspired to join the fight against unnecessary food and plastic waste and help us tread more lightly on the planet.”

Annually the UK uses 4.7bn plastic straws, 316m plastic stirrers and 1.8bn plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Association A Future Without Rubbish is a made up of members from across the industry and is part-funded by Westminster Council.

Its founder Luke Douglas-Home said: “What the school is doing as part of A Future Without Rubbish should be the model for most schools regarding food and plastic waste.

“We call upon Defra’s newly-appointed Food Waste Champion to learn from this school and the project A Future without Rubbish for us all, nationally and internationally.”

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