Sale of plastic straws and stirrers could be banned in UK

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sale of plastic straws and stirrers could be banned in UK
The sale of plastic straws and drinks stirrers in the UK could soon be banned under Government proposals.

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

The ban is aimed at reducing the impact of pollution on rivers and oceans, as around 8.5bn plastic straws are thrown away in the UK each year.

The Government says it will work with industry to develop alternatives and ensure there is time for businesses to adapt.

Hospitality groups including D&D London and chefs such as Neil Rankin and Skye Gyngell have announced their intention to cut down​ on plastic use  amid growing concerns about its environmental impact.

Rankin has replaced plastic straws with a variety made from corn starch and stopped using vacuum packing two years ago, while Gygnell is cutting down on cling film in favour of a bio-degradable alternative.

Deliveroo has introduced a 50-strong line of eco-packaging for its meal deliveries, while JustEat is trialling edible seaweed-based sauce sachets​ that also decompose within six weeks.

“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,” says Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Greenpeace estimates that around 12m tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year – equivalent to a rubbish truck full every minute.

Related topics: Legislation

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