Michael Gove says government may ban plastic straws

Marco Green
February 23, 2018

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "We are in favour of action that helps change customer preferences away from plastic straws towards environmentally friendly alternatives and that will have to be driven, in part, by the sector".

Michael Gove said the Government wanted to do "everything we can" to restrict their use, saying: "We're exploring at the moment if we can ban them".

Franz Timmermans, the deputy to EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker, pointed out that the EU was already planning to ban the straws later this year.

The comments from the Environment Secretary come after it was revealed the number of straws bought by Parliament had doubled in the last three years.

When asked by the Daily Telegraph if he would prohibit plastic straws Mr Gove replied "watch this space".

The petition states: "Over 550m plastic straws are used every day in the US & UK".

"We are going to choke on plastic if we don't do anything about this".

The latest move comes in the same week as MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) piled more pressure on the government to release more details about its plans to change the tax system to cut the use of single-use plastics. It only took me once to explain to my children.

The group argues that paper straws cannot be used for hot drinks and that metal straws could be risky for those with Parkinson's.

The Marine Conservation Society estimates the United Kingdom uses 8.5bn straws a year and they are among the top 10 waste items found on beaches.

Beyond eradicating single-use plastic items, the European Union commission has set a target of 55% of all plastic to be recycled by 2030.

The group added on Facebook: "Similar to the bag charge, it would force servers to only provide straws upon request and dramatically reduce use".

Every year, Europeans generate 25m tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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