England to ban single-use plastic by 2020

Posted by Imogen Searra on 23 May 2019

England has announced it will be banning single-use plastic in a move towards protecting the oceans and environment. The ban will come into place in 2020.

The single-use plastic items that will fall into the banned category include straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds. According to BBC, only drink stirrers will be completely banned from sale. Is is estimated that 316 million are used every year.

Supermarkets will no longer be able to sell straws. Registered pharmacies online and in-store however, will still be able to. According to BBC, “disabled groups have highlighted that straws are essential for everyday life and that a total ban could lead to the risk of dehydration.”

Bars and restaurants will not be able to display plastic straws or hand them out. If patrons do request them, they will be provided. This is to avoid disabled groups from feeling stigmatised, according to a spokesperson from the environment ministry (DEFRA).

Earbuds will not be available for general sale to the public. Medical and scientific laboratories will be able to purchase them for research and forensic purposes.

According to BBC, ‘the government has been considering action on single-use plastic items since the public reaction to David Attenborough’s landmark Blue Planet II documentaries nearly two years ago.

At the time, Environment Secretary Michael Gove described being haunted by the image of marine life harmed by plastic and launched consultations on a series of measures to curb single-use items.’

The ban will come into effect in April 2020.

 

Image source: Pixabay

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