Plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds are banned in England from today.
The legislation should have come into force in April but was put back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the success of the ban on microbeads and the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, the proposal to increase the ban to additional single use plastic everyday items such as straws, cotton buds and stirrers was fairly straight forward and due to be effective early 2020.
April had been the original deadline for the new legislation but, coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and given its impact on supply chains, the government decided to postpone the ban until now.
From today however, it is now illegal in almost all circumstances for businesses to give them out to customers.
The ban on straws, stirrers and cotton buds is just the next step in the battle against plastic pollution and pledges to protect our ocean and the environment for future generations.
According to statistics it is estimated that 5 billion plastic straws, 316million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in the UK each year. And about 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets, which in turn can end up in our waterways and oceans.
At the time of launching the consultation, the then Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: Today we step-up our efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution and ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it.
The day has now come and the ban takes effect for a greener, safer future.
Polyco Healthline, was one of the early pioneers to create environmentally-friendly alternatives with products like biodegradable paper stems.
Back in 2016, we teamed up with some of our key retail partners to introduce the switch to paper stem cotton buds into the UK retail market.
We are proud to say that together, we have so far managed to switch 6 MILLION consumer packs of cotton buds to paper, this represents 1 BILLION cotton buds sticks and 160 TONNES of plastic removed from our everyday lives.
Our simply soft range of products offers 100% cotton wool and 100% paper stem cotton buds in an array of consumer packaging: Baby Range, Travel & EveryDay range and of course, under retailers' own brands.
It has been a long road and the work of many, but here at Polyco Healthline, we are so pleased this day has finally come!