Packaging Innovation
UK to ban plastic straws
September 6, 2018

So long, plastic straws? UK set to call for reform

Did you know UK consumers throw away about 8.5 billion plastic straws every year? Meanwhile, the battle against plastics ending up in our oceans is still very much ongoing. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Theresa May and the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance are now urging all Commonwealth countries to put a stop to plastic pollution. If Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove is to be believed, single-use plastics (straws in particular) are even likely to be completely banned in the near future.  

Stepping up to the non-plastic plate

“Protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” May stated in April earlier this year. Confirming her commitment, the Prime Minister consequently rallied all Commonwealth countries to sign up for the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance which she stated would be receiving nearly 61.5 million GBP in funding.   Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove added: “We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on straws, stirrers and cotton buds to help protect our marine life.”  

British Plastics Federation

In response to the government’s proposal to stop the sale of plastic straws, The British Plastics Federation (BPDF) feels optimistic: “The British Plastics Federation takes the issue of plastics waste incredibly seriously. Reducing the use of unnecessary plastic items is the critical issue of our time, and we look forward to engaging constructively with the government on these proposals in the months ahead”, a BPF spokesperson stated.  

McDonald’s to ban plastic straws in the UK

UK to ban plastic straws Fun fact: Theresa May’s proposal actually follows statements made by fast food chains including McDonald’s, expressing their intent to ban plastic straws at their UK outlets and replace them with paper alternatives over the course of next year. When asked what convinced them to make such a drastic change, McDonald’s answered that they believe the ban would reflect their customers’ growing determination to see a move on plastic straws.   Inspired by Packaging News