Environment Minister Michael Gove said that it is "vital" for the government to prevent further pollution of the environment.
The government said that the UK will prohibit the sale of plastic straws and plastic sticks to stir drinks (also called coffee stirrers) that pollute the seas and rivers. Commenting on this news, Environment Minister Michael Gove said that "it is vitally important to act now" in order to abandon the use of straws, 8.5 billion of which are thrown out annually.
The announcement followed other equally big decisions designed to reduce the use of plastic in the country. In particular, the government is working on the idea of introducing a tax on disposable plastic cups in the amount of 25 pence, since it is practically impossible to efficiently process them. To this idea of the government, some shops and supermarkets has already listened to, for example, Waitrose will no longer treat its customers with hot drinks in disposable cups.
Introducing the new ban, which will be discussed later this year, the cabinet said: "Disposable plastic products - is a real scourge, which has a negative impact on our waters and is deadly for our precious environment and marine animals, so it is vital to act now. We have already introduced a ban on microplastics and reduced use of straws, sticks for stirring drinks and cotton swabs to help protect marine life. We are glad to note that retailers, bars and restaurants are beginning to reduce using plastic, but only through the joint efforts of government, business and ordinary citizens we can protect the environment for the next generation of British."
According to the government's plan, the sale of disposable plastic stirrers and straws will be banned in England (as an administrative and political part of the UK) for 25 years
In the future, ministers invest £61.4 million in research and assistance to other countries in stopping the dropping of plastic waste into the ocean.
In addition, the government announced its decision to cut all plastic waste by 2040, prohibiting microplastics, and introduced the price of plastic bags at 5 pence, which has already led to a reduction of their production by 9 billion. The final decision was to return the money to the British for the used bottles.