Thanks to David Attenborough‘s groundbreaking Blue Planet II documentaries, the reality of climate change, plastic pollution and environmental damage are finally making their way into the public consciousness.
And with an estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans every year, working towards a more sustainable lifestyle and protecting our natural world has never been more important.
Now, in a latest bid to turn the tide on marine pollution, the environment secretary Michael Gove has confirmed new measures on the use of plastic straws, plastic drinks stirrers and plastic cotton buds from England from April 2020.
The new controls mean that plastic drinks stirrers will be subject to a complete ban, with limitations on the availability of plastic straws, which will still be on sale in registered pharmacies for people with medical needs or a disability.
According to an official press release, bars and restaurants will also be permitted to give a customer a plastic straw if they request one, although they won’t be allowed to display them on countertops.
“Anyone can ask for a straw and be given one without needing to prove a disability – we’ve been working with disabled groups so that they don’t feel stigmatised,” explained a spokesperson for Defra.
Meanwhile, plastic-stemmed cotton buds will also be restricted from general sale to the public, although the