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The UK Government has confirmed it will ban plastic straws and other items as it continues to increase legal restrictions on waste.

The straw ban, first tabled last year, is the UK Governments latest anti-plastic move

The straw ban, first tabled last year, is the UK Government's latest anti-plastic move

The country's environment ministry said today that plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds will be outlawed from April 2020. It said the "urgent" action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect the environment.

The confirmation of the ban, first tabled last year, is the UK Government's latest anti-plastic move. Earlier this year, officials proposed a tax on plastic packaging that does not contain a minimum of 30% recycled content from April 2022. The government has also banned microbeads and placed a charge on single-use plastic bags.

The environment ministry said the ban on straws is heavily backed by the public and will cut down on the 4.7bn straws used each year in England. The ban will not cover other parts of the UK.

"Even though non-plastic alternatives are readily available, it is estimated that 95% of straws are still plastic," environment secretary Michael Gove said. "Cleaning up the effects of littering costs local government millions of pounds every year, with costs also imposed on the tourism and fishing industries, and the effect of plastic pollution worrying 89% of people."

Despite the ban, restaurants and other establishments will still be allowed to carry straws for people with medical conditions.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the ban.

"The ban will build on the great work already done by pubs to reduce their waste plastic," the BBPA said.

Other parts of the UK are clamping down on waste. This month, authorities in Scotland outlined proposals for a deposit return system for beverage packaging.

"Plastic is not a dirty word, waste is" - Britvic sustainability director


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