The United Kingdom has proposed plans to prohibit the sale of plastic straws, beverage blenders and plastic cotton swabs to reduce plastic contamination.
British Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced on April 19 that a study will be launched later this year and the government will work with industry to develop alternative solutions and ensure that there is sufficient time for adjustment and adaptation.
According to data from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), a recent study shows that in the UK, 8.5 billion plastic straws are discarded each year.
This announcement coincided with the launch of the newly established British Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance by British Prime Minister Teresa Mehmet, whose goal is to reduce marine and plastic waste pollution.
The ban on plastic straws is the government’s latest move to crack plastic products. The United Kingdom had previously prohibited the use of plastic microspheres and imposed charges on plastic bags, which greatly reduced the use of plastic bags.
David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Suez Recycling and Recovery in the United Kingdom, expressed support for this decision, saying that it showed strong leadership.
He pointed out: "The proposed ban ... shows strong leadership and correctly continues to place the environment at the top of the corporate and consumer agenda."