The Government plan, which could also see the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds illegalised, would become part of a 25-year scheme to rid the UK marketplace of avoidable plastic waste.
Plastic straws are a particular blight on the world’s rivers and ocean, with 8.5 billion thrown away every year, an influx that has a devastating effect on aquatic wildlife.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who recently invited other Commonwealth Heads of State to join the fight against plastic pollution, said: “Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world.
‘The UK Government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbeads ban, and today we have put forward ambitious plans to further reduce plastic waste from straws, stirrers and cotton buds.”
The plan remains subject to consultation.
In Issue One of Oceanographic Magazine, Chris Jordan, director of ‘Albatross’, talks candidly about his time with the seabirds of Midway, a remote Pacific Island blighted by plastic – a relentless assault that causes the deaths of thousands of chicks each year.