UK: Plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers banned after months of delay

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Oct 01, 2020, 01.04 PM(IST)

Image for representation. Photograph:( Others )

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Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the waste generated due to the discarded face masks and the single-use PPE kits

The United Kingdm has decided to impose a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in every commercial establishment from the month of October.

As per the new rule, all sales and distribution for single-use plastic items will be banned, starting from October 01. This also includes ban on supplying these items to the customers in restaurants, cafes and bars.

Boris Johnson-led government has, however, added exemptions for people with special needs or the people who medically require these items.

Also read: UK PM Johnson to speak on COVID-19 as anger mounts towards curbs

The rule has been implemented to tackle the problem of climate change and global warming — a topic due to which various small-scale protests took place in the country.

"The ban on straws, stirrers and cotton buds is just the next step in our battle against plastic pollution and our pledge to protect our ocean and the environment for future generations.

"We are already a world-leader in this global effort. Our five-pence charge on single-use plastic bags has successfully cut sales by 95% in the main supermarkets, we have banned microbeads, and we are building plans for a deposit return scheme to drive up the recycling of single-use drinks containers."

Also read: Boris Johnson starts shutting down Britain again as coronavirus spreads

The ban was to come into place from April. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government was unable to  impose the ban and negatively affect the already suffering supply chain.

However, from October, it has been made illegal to hand out single-use plastic items to customers.

Pandemic waste

While the environmentalists are happy with the new rule, they worry that new threat to the environment is the new threat to the human kind — COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the waste generated due to the discarded face masks and the single-use PPE kits.

The environmentalists claim that while they understand the dangers of the situation, they hope people will follow proper steps to discard the pandemic waste, rather than littering on streets or water bodies.

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