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Britain considers banning plastic straws, wants Canada to do the same

The United Kingdom wants to take action to ban plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and is urging other Commonwealth nations – including Canada – to follow suit.


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April 23, 2018 by Canadian Plastics

The United Kingdom wants to take action to ban plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and is urging other Commonwealth nations – including Canada – to follow suit.

Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to eradicate plastic waste by 2042 as part of a “national plan of action.”

“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting,” May said in a statement ahead of a Commonwealth summit.

Leaders from the Commonwealth – a network of 53 countries, mostly former British colonies – are meeting in London this week. May’s announcement comes on the heels of her having launched the newly formed Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance, which will aim to reduce marine litter and plastic waste pollution.

The proposed ban also comes after many restaurants in the U.K. have already banned single-use plastic straws. Also last week, McDonald’s in Britain said it would start using drinking straws made from paper. Britain’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced April 19 that a study will launch later this year on the project, and that the government would work with industry “to develop alternatives and ensure there is sufficient time to adapt.” The British government has allocated 61.4 million pounds (US$87 million) to study new ways to clean up and prevent plastic waste.

Plastic straws have already been banned in several U.S. cities, such as Seattle, Miami Beach, and Malibu, Calif.