Ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds comes into force in England

From October 1st 2020 a ban on the supply of plastic straws and stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, has come into force in England.

It has been estimated that 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used each year and many of these end up in the marine environment. There are some exceptions – disabled people and those with medical conditions will still be able to request a plastic straw when visiting a pub or restaurant and purchase them from pharmacies

Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society, said 

‘It’s fantastic news that the ban on plastic cotton bud sticks, stirrers and straws is now in place. The results of our annual Great British Beach Clean have shown a decrease in cotton bud sticks littering British beaches. In 2017 we found an average of 31 cotton bud sticks per 100 m of beach, and in 2019 we found just eight on beaches in England. This reflects that many companies have already made the switch away from plastic, in cotton buds and other items, something we need to see more companies doing. Only with ambitious policy and forward-thinking brands and companies can we truly stop the plastic tide’.

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