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Government proposes ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

19 April 2018 by
Government proposes ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

The government has announced plans to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds later this year.

Announcing a consultation into the proposal the government said it will work with industries to develop alternatives and ensure businesses have time to adapt.

The move is the latest in a bid to protect the environment and reduce the 8.5b plastic straws thrown away each year.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: "Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife so it is vital we act now. We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on straws, stirrers and cotton buds to help protect our marine life.

Prime minister Theresa May added: "Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

"The UK government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban, and today we have put forward ambitious plans to further reduce plastic waste from straws, stirrers and cotton buds."

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, has said any new legislation will be "yet another burden" on the industry.

She said "It is disappointing that the Government seem intent on a legislative approach, as the industry have already made good progress in reducing waste through voluntary measures. It is undeniable that this serious issue needs tackling, but with anything of this gravitas it needs to be considered and executed both effectively and realistically. This looks set to introduce yet another burden on hospitality margins with any additional cost coming on top of already high business rates and employment costs.

"There is a large amount of government policy already being proposed in this particular area - deposit schemes, packaging reforms, and plastic taxes - and now with the move for an outright ban, there is a sense of confusion with overlapping government policy, regardless of the wider effects on UK businesses."

Waitrose becomes first retailer to ban disposable coffee cups>>

Drinks bottle deposit return scheme planned for later this year>>

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