Plastic straws could be banned, suggests Michael Gove

Plastic straws could be banned, suggests Michael Gove

"And now ... they go looking for paper straws, or don't use straws at all".

"Frans Timmermans, European Commission vice president, wrote on Twitter: ".@michaelgove One step ahead of you.

Last September, pub chain Wetherspoon announced that it would stop using plastic straws in its 900 sites across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

When asked whether he would clamp a ban on plastic straws after the United Kingdom left the EU, Michael Gove told a podcast interview with the Daily Telegraph, "Watch this space". Maybe you can align with us?

However, a disability group has expressed concerns about the move to ban plastic straws.

Taiwan is planning a blanket ban on single-use plastic items including straws, cups and shopping bags by 2030, officials said, with restaurants facing new restrictions from next year.

"Also waiting for the European Union to catch up on microbeads - UK's ban is 1st in Europe #greenbrexit", he tweeted. The EU has promised "analytical work" on the "scope of a legislative initiative" to "reduce" single use plastics.

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According to the Marine Conservation Society, an estimated 8.5 billion straws are used in Britain every year, with plastic straws one of the most common items found during beach clean-ups.

The Environment secretary raised the prospect of a ban on the straws in an interview with Chopper's Brexit Podcast today.

Plastic does not biodegrade, it breaks down into smaller pieces called "microplastics" which are even more risky for marine life.

"We are going to choke on plastic if we don't do anything about this. If they did not exist, there would be scant reason to invent them".

A Government spokesman said: "We are committed through our 25-year environment plan to eliminating avoidable plastic altogether by the end of 2042 so we leave our planet in a better state than we found it". Costa is set to remove plastic straws from outlets this year while Pret A Manger and Wagamama would only offer plastic straws on request.

It is the latest push by Taiwan to cut waste and pollution after introducing a recycling programme and charges for plastic bags.

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