Plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds are now banned in the UK
The ban on a selection of single use plastics comes into force today
Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds are now banned in England after measures originally intended to begin in April came into force.
The ban makes it illegal for businesses to sell or supply such items, though there will be an exemption for people with disabilities and medical conditions who require plastic straws.
The ban was initially intended for April but its implementation was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and to avoid strain on the struggling hospitality sector.
Tatiana Lujan of environmental charity ClientEarth, described the ban as a "no-brainer" and said that much more needs to be done by politicians to truly address the overall damage done by single-use plastics
"Single-use plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers are some of the most pointless plastics out there. Banning them is a no-brainer, especially because reusable and non-toxic alternatives are readily available," she said.
"But these items form only a tiny fraction of single-use plastics, which litter our environment and release toxic substances and greenhouse gas emissions when incinerated – and even when they’re made. Other countries like Ireland and France have shown far more ambition than the UK, with targets on reusable packaging and deposit return schemes."