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The Final Straw

The Final Straw

It is estimated that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in our oceans, as a result of this 100,000 sea mammals and 1 million birds are killed yearly from eating or getting caught in non-biodegradable waste. In an attempt to combat this, the UK Government imposed a 5p charge on single use plastic bags in late 2015, which has led to an 86% drop in bag distribution from major supermarkets.

The success of this act has influenced the latest change in English law. By April 2020 there will be a complete ban of plastic straws, stirrers and Cotton buds. Currently, 5 billion plastic straws, 300 million drink stirrers and over 2 billion cotton buds are used each year in the UK. None of these products are bio-degradable and have catastrophic effects on wildlife and natural habitats upon their disposal. It is estimated that for every 100 meters of beach in England there are 17 cotton buds littering the shores, these single life plastics take hundreds of years to degrade and unfortunately are often mistaken for food by surrounding wildlife.

Along with 80% of the population, Green Motion UK fully supports the ban on plastic straws and are constantly working to find new ways to assist the reduction of non-biodegradable waste.

Registered pharmacies will be permitted to sell plastic straws online and in store, but all retail outlets will be prohibited from stocking or selling any of the soon to be banned products. The Government has estimated that the annual use of straws will fall from 4.7 billion to 44 million once the new restrictions are introduced, which will gravely benefit not only the condition of our surroundings but save the lives of thousands of innocent animals.

The European Union have now formally adopted plans to ban a longer list of items including plastic cutlery and plates by 2021.