16 April 2020, source edie newsroom
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has pushed back the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds set to come into force later this month to October 2020, to the dismay of campaigners.
In May 2019, the UK Government formally confirmed the phase-out date for plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems, banning the items from being sold in England from April 2020.
The move, which has been in the offing for more than two years, is aimed to cutback the estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws, 300 million stirrers, and two billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in England every year.
However, Defra has moved the ban date back to October 2020 in response to challenges imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Given the huge challenges posed to businesses by coronavirus, we have confirmed we will delay the introduction of our ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds until October 2020” Defra said in a statement.
“We remain absolutely committed to turning the tide on the widespread use of single-use plastics and the threat they pose to our natural environment. This ban is yet another measure to clamp down on unnecessary plastic so we can better protect our precious wildlife and leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”