UK Government’s Control over Plastic Items
BBC News informs that the UK government will introduce new controls on single use plastic
items next year. The restrictions cover plastic straws, plastic drinks stirrers and plastic cotton
buds in England from April 2020.
In fact, the government is not banning, but restricting the availability of some plastic products.
Shops including supermarkets will not be allowed to sell the straws. But, for example, straws
will be available in registered pharmacies, stores and online for disabled groups as straws are
essential for everyday life. The same is with bars and restaurants. They will not be allowed to
display plastic straws but they will be able to provide them if people ask.
The government estimates that England's annual use of straws is totally 4.7bn which will
decrease to 44 million due to the new restrictions.
Plastic-stemmed cotton buds will only be available for medical and scientific laboratories.
As for plastic stirrers, they will be subject to a total ban.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove explained that the items are used for just a few minutes
but it takes them hundreds of years to break down, ending up in seas and oceans. Mr Gove calls
to make the environment a better place for future generations.
Earlier this week the European Union formally adopted a plan to ban a longer list of items
including plastic straws, plastic cutlery and plastic plates by 2021.
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