Straw ban finally comes into force

Straw ban finally comes into force

Straw ban finally comes into force

A ban on plastic straws which was delayed due to coronavirus has come into force today (Thursday).

The new rule also applies to plastic drinks stirrers and cotton buds.

Businesses in England will no longer be able to provide them to customers, although many have already swapped the plastic products with paper alternatives, like McDonald’s which ditched plastic straws in 2018.

April had been the original deadline for the new legislation, which stops the sale and distribution of the single-use plastic items. But, coming in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and given its impact on supply chains, the government decided to postpone the ban until now.

An estimated 4.7billion plastic straws, 316million plastic stirrers and 1.8billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in England every year, according to government figures.

Scotland has already put a ban on the products, which took effect from October last year.

It’s the latest step in the fight against single-use plastic waste to protect the environment and oceans.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The ban on straws, stirrers and cotton buds is just the next step in our battle against plastic pollution and our pledge to protect our ocean and the environment for future generations.”

Campaigners welcomed the move but said that the government “must get tougher on plastic” as straws, cotton buds and stirrers make up just a “fraction” of the pollution.

The ban was greeted with joy by Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity working with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life.

It Tweeted: “CAMPAIGN WIN! Congratulations to all the campaigners who helped make this happen! Another step forward to #StopPlasticPollution.”

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