Tuesday 29 September, 2020

UK to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

At this pub in Twickenham they are already ahead of the curve with the ban on plastic straws.

Only paper straws are served to customers.

From April 2020 plastic straws, cotton buds and plastic stirrers will only be provided under strict guidelines, for medical or scientific reasons.

A customer enjoying a drink with friends agrees with the ban saying, "you see the protests in London even a month ago. People are stepping up and asking well why is this? Can we do anything to improve this."


In April 2019, the climate group Extinction Rebellion protested over 11 days in central London with the aim to provoke Government action on climate change

Another drinker says "something as small as a straw, you know, we can all do our part and it makes a big difference in the end."

According to the Ocean Conservancy, an estimated 150 million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year.

An estimated one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste, according to Ocean Crusaders.

Pollution campaigner from Friends of the Earth, Emma Priestland explains, "we know that these three items do turn up on our beaches. They're normally in the top 10 most commonly found items on beaches but it is just three items."

"There is a lot more kinds of plastic pollution out there. We have plastic coming from our clothing. It's even in paint from the tyres on our cars. Plastic is everywhere. So we need a lot more action from the government." 

In a report by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs in 2018, it was estimated that 1.8 billion individual cotton buttons are used in England each year, 10% are flushed into the sewage system and  of which a small amount 8.1% (of the 10%) enter marine environment.

This latest initiative hopes to encourage people to reduce their single-use plastic usage.

Already customers are pleased with the ban at this pub.

"If somebody gives me one at a bar, I say: 'please don't'. But then they'll throw it away, if they put it in your drink, they just throw it away. So it's good replace it with paper."

A recent report by the Government Office for Science, projects plastic in the ocean will treble between 2015 and 2025.

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