England bans plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds


Tanya Ketterer | EyeEm | Getty Images

A ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in England came into force on Thursday, in the latest attempt to mitigate the effect of plastic pollution on the environment.

There are some exemptions to the newly-introduced measures: people with certain medical conditions and disabilities will be able to ask for plastic straws at restaurants or pubs, and can buy them from pharmacies.

According to the government, an estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws, 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds and 316 million plastic stirrers are used in England each year. A large number of these end up in the ocean, it said, harming wildlife and the environment.



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