England bans plastic straws and stirrers
The ban currently applies to straws served in the on-trade; with manufacturers able to continue the supply of single-use plastic straws attached to their packaging up to July 3, 2021.
Disabled people and those with medical conditions will still be able to request a plastic straw when visiting a pub or restaurant and buy them from pharmacies.
Around 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds (also covered by the ban) are used in England every year.
The ban is ‘just the next step in our battle against plastic pollution and our pledge to protect our ocean and the environment for future generations’, according to the UK government.
It is also planning to introduce a tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content from April 2022 to encourage greater use of recycled plastic.
It is also consulting on the introduction of a deposit return scheme to increase recycling of single-use drinks containers.
A 5p charge on single-use bags is also being doubled to 10p.