In an article published on February 22, 2018 by newspaper Mail Online, editor Jack Doyle reported that plastic drinking straws may be banned in the UK in the near future. UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced planned actions against plastic straws because most of them are not recycled and “end up in landfill or clogging up our rivers and oceans.” According to an article published on February 23, 2018 by newspaper The Independent, Gove further stated: “I want to do everything we can to restrict the use of plastic straws and we’re exploring at the moment if we can ban them.” The ban would force bars and restaurants to use biodegradable alternatives (e.g. paper straws) if they want to serve drinks with straws.

Meanwhile, various food and drink businesses such as Pizza Express, Wagamama, JD Wetherspoon pubs, Costa, and Diageo have already announced to stop using plastic straws. The city of Seattle, U.S., will prohibit the use of conventional plastic straws and other single-use plastic utensils at restaurants starting July 1, 2018 (FPF reported). Costa Rica committed to abandoning single-use conventional plastic items such as straws and cutlery by 2021 (FPF reported).

On January 11, 2018, the UK government presented its 25 Year Environment Plan, vowing to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste in the country with actions on single-use plastics (FPF reported). The European Commission’s (EC) EU plastics strategy published on January 16, 2018 also plans to introduce measures on single-use plastics (FPF reported). The EC held a public consultation on the topic from December 15, 2017 to February 12, 2018 (FPF reported). In response to Gove’s concern that “EU laws mean that we can’t ban straws at moment,” Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the EC, stated via Twitter: “One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer.”

Read more

Jack Doyle (February 22, 2018). “Plastic straws banned: Move by Michael Gove will force bars and restaurants across the country to use environmentally friendly alternatives.Mail Online

Benjamin Kentish (February 23, 2018). “Michael Gove says he wants to ban plastic straws.Independent

Ivana Kottasová (February 23, 2018). “Plastic straw makers brace for bans.CNN Money

Tom Embury-Dennis (February 23, 2018). “EU hints at outlawing single-use plastics by summer after Gove said Europe could block UK plastic straws ban.Independent

Lorraine Chow (February 23, 2018). “The last straw? EU official hints ban on single-use plastic across Europe.EcoWatch

Elizabeth Arnold (February 22, 2018). “Parliament’s consumption of plastic drinking straws doubles in three years, figures reveal.Independent