The government has been working towards reducing the amount of plastic waste people in the UK produce, with a particular emphasis on single-use plastics that'll just end up in a landfill or as part of a turtles dinner. Now it's going to go after plastic straws and cotton buds, with a possible ban on the cards.
Government ministers claim 8.5 billion straws are thrown away every year, with the prime Minister declaring plastic pollution as "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world". With that in mind she's aiming to make the UK a global leader in tackling plastic waste, and will be encouraging the rest of the Commonwealth to follow suit in an event at Buckingham Palace. That's why there's going to be a consultation on the ban. We don't know when it'll happen exactly, just that it'll be headed up by Michael Gove later this year. if he has his way it means plastic straws and cotton buds could go the way of CFCs, lead petrol, and Piers Morgan's dignity.
Obviously this isn't the first time the UK has done something about plastic. Obviously there was the 5p plastic bag charge which has done wonders for the British coastline (even if England was a bit behind on that front), the ban on microplastics, and the consultation on a plastic bottle recycling scheme. Businesses in the UK have also promised to cut down their plastic waste, especially where straws are concerned, alongside 60 UK festivals that have banned them from the premises.
It's worth mentioning that the consultation would only affect England and Wales, seeing as how Scotland has already promised to ban plastic straws alongside the manufacturing of plastic-stemmed cotton buds. That's due to come into effect by the end of next year.
While some people won't be happy about this news, it does mean they won't be forced to pay some sort of tax or levy on straws, which is probably even worse.[BBC News]