The proposed plan laid out in October 2018, aims to remove the harmful plastic waste elements – potentially saving our wildlife and waterways.
The figures for use of these products annually in England alone is staggering. It is estimated we use:
- 4.7 billion plastic straws
- 316 million plastic stirrers
- 1.8 billion plastic stemmed cotton buds
Of that 1.8 billion, it’s said that we flush 10% of cotton buds down toilets which ultimately end up in rivers and oceans. Although used for a few minutes, cotton buds, alongside plastic stirrers and straws can take hundreds of years to decompose.
In order to eliminate these items from use, the Government intends to introduce a ban on their distribution and sale. The ban would, initially, come into force between October 2019 and October 2020, subject to the views collected during the consultation – which closed in December.
Launching the consultation, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
“Our precious oceans and the wildlife within need urgent protection from the devastation throw-away plastic items can cause.
I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more. “
The announcement follows the success of the government’s world-leading ban on microbeads and 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, which has seen distribution by major supermarkets drop by 86%.
We, here at Plastic Generation aim to keep you up to date with all the developments of this ban.