Plastic straw ban October 2020

Amazingly, the UK has finally banned the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds! It feels like a minute step in the direction of trying to reduce the plastic addiction, one step inside a supermarket looking at the rows of single use packaging for nearly all items makes the ban feel a little futile.

This is where as consumers we have to take the reigns and make sure we do our part instead of waiting for bans to happen before we change our habits, if we haven't already.

From gov.uk - 

"It is estimated we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers, and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England every year, many of which find their way into our ocean. By banning the supply of these items, we can further protect our marine wildlife and move one step closer to our ambition of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste, as set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan."

Just one bamboo straw

The ban doesn't apply to restaurants, where the straw is to be used immediately and is not to be offered unless the customer requests it.but if you get into the habit of carrying one with you, you can use a straw with no guilt! 

See here for more exemptions to the law.

Just one tiny little cotton bud

In recent years plastic cotton buds have been washing up on British beaches in huge numbers but this number has dropped dramatically, which certainly implies that many consumers were already making that change.

Will plastic toothbrushes be next? 

It might feel that swapping your plastic version for a bamboo toothbrush feels like an insignificant difference but it's a numbers game, by the time you have factored in 4 toothbrushes a year for the average toothbrusher then multiply that by 60million and that is a lot of plastic in a year.

If one person buys two other people bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo cotton buds and drinking straws, by doing so they are keeping these items out of landfill and just as importantly, raising awareness of the issue. 

The environmentally damaging use of plastic cotton buds might not even be on everyone's radar, such a tiny little item, what harm could it do?