The United Kingdom is taking a big step towards addressing pollution, by banning Plastic drinking straws across the country in the near future. According to Environment secretary ,Micheal Gove, this is being done to resolve serious environmental concerns.
The UK is estimated to go through 8.5 billion single-use plastic straws every year – the highest number in Europe – and Michael Gove said banning their use could help the UK become more environmentally friendly. Because they cannot be recycled the straws often end up in waterways and in the sea, causing damage and death to plants and animals.
A distressing video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nostril recently prompted calls for them to be banned around the world, and a number of MPs have called for an end to their use in bars and restaurants.
Mr Gove is among dozens of senior Tories trying to cut down on their plastic use for Lent, with the Environment Secretary recently photographed clutching a disposable coffee cup. Last month in the London Evening Standard, he highlighted how an ‘overwhelming majority’ of plastic straws ‘end up in landfill or clogging up our rivers and oceans.’
He wrote: ‘As a symbol of society’s damaging addiction to single-use plastics and our throwaway culture, straws are hard to beat. If they did not exist, there would be scant reason to invent them.’ It comes as figures from the House of Commons Commission showed the number of straws purchased by Parliament has doubled in the last three years – from 6,000 in 2014/15 to 12,250 in 2016/17 – with SNP MP David Linden describing the increase as ‘pretty alarming’. Recently, high-profile nature documentary Blue Planet II has highlighted the damage plastic pollution is doing to the world’s oceans and their wildlife. The BBC One show helped drive awareness of the issue of marine plastic pollution, with companies, organisations and politicians increasingly taking action to tackle the problem.