In October, the UK Government set out its plan to ban the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds to protect our rivers and seas. See more details below copied from their website:
The plan is subject to a consultation launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
In England, it is estimated that annually we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds. An estimated 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets and can end up in waterways and oceans.
Even though non-plastic alternatives are readily available, these single-use plastic items are used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down. Cleaning up the effects of littering costs local Government millions of pounds every year.
In order to eliminate these items from use, the Government intends to introduce a ban on their distribution and sale. The ban would come into force at some point between October 2019 and October 2020, subject to the views collected during consultation.
We recognise there are instances where using plastic straws is necessary for medical reasons and our consultation seeks views on how to ensure those who need straws for medical and accessibility reasons can still use them. For example, pharmacies will still be able to sell plastic straws and restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to stock some straws for use on request. The Government will work closely with stakeholders to ensure these exemptions are crafted exactly right.
Launching the consultation, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Our precious oceans and the wildlife within need urgent protection from the devastation throw-away plastic items can cause.
In England we are taking world-leading action with our ban on microbeads, and thanks to the public’s support have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p charge.
I commend retailers, bars and restaurants that have already committed to removing plastic straws and stirrers. But we recognise we need to do more. Today we step-up our efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution and ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it.
Restaurants and bars are voluntarily banning plastic straws and I feel that we need to do our part in protecting the environment. One way we can help is by using reusable straws when needed.
I was sent these hand made copper straws by a company called Black -Qubd. These handmade copper straws are made in South Africa and no 2 straws are identical. They come in two sizes, one for juices and a slightly thicker one for smoothies. They are washable and come in a pretty pouch with a cleaning brush. Once you have these straws you can use them again and again. More details of the straws are here. I just keep the pouch with the straws in my handbag and use them when needed. When out, I just wipe them and put them away after using and just rinse them in soapy water when I get home. These straws are handy for mums with little children as well for adults with swallowing problems. In my spare time, I have been working with patients suffering from swallowing issues and have been telling them about the benefits of using these Copper straws and they have loved trying out the thick one for drinking smoothies which they find difficult to drink through normal plastic straws.
Black Qubd sell a range of funky home accessories so do check out their website :https://www.black-qubd.com. If you like these straws or any of their lovely products – just quote MINA10 and you will get 10% discount.
Lets all do our part in protecting the environment by using these reusable copper straws which could last a life time.
Disclaimer: I was provided with the free samples of the straws in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this Post are mine and not influenced by anyone.