Our Environment Secretary has made an interesting proposal this week. He has suggested that plastic straws could be banned in Britain. It’s estimated by the Marine Conservation Society that the UK uses 8.5 billion straws annually, which are of course also one of the Big 4 plastic items, and a ban on plastic straws would drastically reduce this figure.
It’s not surprising, of course, that politics was dragged into the matter, with Mr Gove stating that the ban would be easier once the UK leaves the European Union. However, the Vice-President of the EU responded on Twitter, saying that they were “one step ahead of (the UK).”
“EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us?” Frans Timmermans tweeted, followed by the sneaky hashtag of “#EUDoesntSuck”.
This is following Theresa May’s announcement that the United Kingdom will have eliminated single-use plastic by 2042. Gove’s statement also follows a chain of restaurant chains (including Wagamama and Wetherspoons) banning straws in their stores.
If the ban goes through, this could be a big step in the right direction for eliminating a largely unnecessary single-use plastic product from the market. However, it’s a big IF, and since the straw ban is still just a ‘suggestion’ we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed that it will be introduced.
Image credit: BT.com