You Might Soon Have to Get Straws from a Pharmacy

By Holly Brockwell on at

Britain's Gurner-In-Chief Michael Gove has announced that plastic items including cotton buds, straws and stirrers may be banned in England (only) within a year.

Currently the Environment Secretary, Gove has announced a consultation on the items to decide whether it's feasible to introduce the ban, planned for sometime between October 2019 and 2020.

Apparently, people who need the items for medical reasons will still be able to get them. Pharmacies will be able to sell straws, and you'll be able to ask for one at the bar if you need one. We're already envisioning all the 'Nanny State' complainers intentionally requesting a straw with every drink as some kind of weak protest.

The reason for the ban is that plastic items like cotton buds are catastrophic to ocean life, and according to the statement, 10% of cotton buds are flushed down the loo. What? Why would you do that? Who raised you?!

The yearly stats are pretty incredible:

  • We use 4.7 billion plastic straws
  • 316 million plastic stirrers, and
  • 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds

Says the government:

"Even though non-plastic alternatives are readily available, these single-use plastic items are used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down. Cleaning up the effects of littering costs local Government millions of pounds every year."

And says Gove:

"Our precious oceans and the wildlife within need urgent protection from the devastation throw-away plastic items can cause.

In England we are taking world-leading action with our ban on microbeads, and thanks to the public’s support have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p charge.

I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more. Today we step-up our efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution and ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it."

We guess that's what you'd call a straw argument man.