The Environment secretary, Michael Gove has confirmed a ban on the supply of items including plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds from next year to tackle pollution and protect the environment. This ban was set to commence from April 2020 after a consultation revealed an overwhelming support from the public.
The Government published the response from the consultation taken on its citizens. In this report, 80% of these respondents backed the ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, 90% on the ban of drink stirrers and 89% on cotton buds. It is estimated that 4.7billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8billion plastic stemmed cotton buds are used each year in England.
Exemptions will allow those who need to use plastic straws for medical reasons or a disability to buy them from registered pharmacies or request them in restaurants, pubs and bars, and the use of plastic-stemmed cotton buds for medical and scientific purposes.
Mr Gove said that millions of pounds would be saved annually on clean-up efforts of used plastic, he added that urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution in the environment to secure a safer society for future generations.