plastic straws, cotton buds, and drink stirrers will be banned in England from the 1st October 2020

Following confirmation that plastic straws, cotton buds, and drink stirrers will be banned in England from the 1st October 2020 as part of the Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020 (1), environmental campaigners have today dubbed the moves “just a drop in a very plastic polluted ocean” and urged the government to scale up their plans.

City to Sea’s CEO, Rebecca Burgess commented,
“Government will rightly be receiving plaudits for the banning of some of the worst items that cause plastic pollution. But a lot of this is just playing catch up with what the private sector and what other governments are already doing. In 2016 we campaigned successfully to get every major retailer to stop selling plastic cotton buds saving 478 tons of plastic a year and last year we saw food giants like McDonald’s already move away from plastic straws.

This is just playing catch up and not leading in implementing the EU’s Single-Use Directive – something other countries are doing with much greater ambition. Its time government sucked it up and came clean with the public – these measures are a drop in a plastic polluted ocean, and they need to quickly scale up their plans as a matter of urgency”

She continued, “If government is serious about tackling plastic pollution there is a series of measures already drafted in the Phase-Out of Plastic Pollution Bill that they could co-opt into the Environment Bill with cross-party support. Instead they are opting for a piecemeal approach that lacks the urgency that this crisis demands.”

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