Sale of plastic straws and drink stirrers
On Tuesday Michael Gove, the Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced the government’s response to a consultation on a potential ban on sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds.
The government will introduce a ban with exemptions on the supply of plastic drinking straws to the end user in England by April 2020.
There will be exemptions designed to cater for medical / accessibility needs: the supply of single use plastic straws to the end user will be permitted in registered pharmacies (in store and online) and in catering establishments (including health, educational and care settings).
In commercial catering establishments, such as pubs and restaurants, there will be a ban on actively offering plastic straws to customers. It will be a requirement for plastic straws to be kept behind the counter and be available to customers on demand only.
A ban on beverage carton straws will come into force in line with the Single Use Plastics Directive implementation timetable; this is to allow industry time to develop and introduce alternatives.