Monday, 28 May, 2018

United Kingdom to become first country to ban plastic straws

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Marty Perkins | 21 April, 2018, 13:53

A consultation in to the plans, which include ending the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, will launch later this year.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is proposing a law in England that would ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton swabs in an effort to save the oceans and reduce waste.

Officials hope the ban, expected to be enforced starting later this year, will help protect rivers and seas and meet the country's 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate avoidable plastic waste, a policy inspired by Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign.

There are around 8.5 billion plastic straws thrown away each year, contributing to at least 150 million tons of plastic in the oceans.

At least, if you're a United Kingdom citizen it's possible you'll be going without drink straws, stirrers, and cotton buds, if a newly-proposed ban goes through.

In February, the Telegraph reported that Queen Elizabeth II had banned plastic straws and bottles at all royal estates, including the Buckingham Palace.

"The Commonwealth is a unique organisation, with a huge diversity of wildlife, environments and coastlines". The move, it is being said that, will bring down country's marine plastic pollution by half.




Plastic is found in almost half of packaging globally (Bloomberg) but accounts for about 60 percent of waste material.

The government will commit £61.4 million (Rs 576 crore) for global research and to improve waste management in developing countries, she added.

The statement said environment minister Michael Gove would launch a consultation later this year into the plan to ban the plastic items.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement today at the start of a major Commonwealth meeting in London. May's announcement said they would consider excluding plastic straws for medical reasons.

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, welcomed the ban but said it's important that the government goes beyond this ban and tackles other non-recyclable plastics.

The move, expected to come into force as early as next year, is created to curb "society's addiction" to throwaway products, the environment secretary writes in The Times.

"However it's only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation".

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