The government of the UK announced a ban that will prohibit the sale of cotton buds, plastic straws, and stirrers in England.
A statement was released by the Department of Environment, Food, and Agriculture, and it said that the ban will be in law by April 2020.
The new ban is part of their plans which are designed to drastically reduce plastic waste.
Michael Gove, the environment secretary of the country, said, “Urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment. These items are often used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down, ending up in our seas and oceans and harming precious marine life.”
Secretary Gove added, “So today I am taking action to turn the tide on plastic pollution, and ensure we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”
In England alone, people use nearly 4.7 billion plastic starts per year, 316 million plastic stirrers, and 1.8 billion cotton buds (the plastic ones).
And a report suggests that 10 percent of the plastics are flushed down in toilets and end up in oceans.
Hugo Tagholm, the CEO of the Surfers Against Sewage, said, “Surfers Against Sewage welcome the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds. Stopping the production and distribution of these single-use plastic menaces will prevent them from polluting beaches nationwide. It’s a really positive and bold step in the right direction in the battle against plastic pollution.”
“It also helps further drive plastic-free options and alternatives for the public so they can truly make more sustainable choices in their daily lives.”
The group works to reduce the number of plastics that end up in our oceans, the group also said that the new ban is a “bold step” in the fight against plastic pollution.
Jeremy Darroch, the Chief Executive of Sky plc, said, “Single-use plastic is a disease of our own making. We’re working hard to get rid of it and completely agree with Michael Gove that urgent and decisive action is needed.”
But this ban will be will not take place for the disabled community and those people who need medical attention.
The Trailblazers manager at the Muscular Dystrophy of the UK, Lauren West, said, “If disabled people cannot access plastic straws when out it could put their health at risk as they may not be able to drink and could become dehydrated.”
Lauren added, “We’re pleased the Government has recognized this in its proposals put forward today. We would encourage Defra to continue consulting disabled people and groups like Trailblazers to ensure we are not disadvantaged or targeted and stigmatized for using single-use plastics.”