West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has welcomed the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds which came into force at the start of the month.
The ban means it is illegal for businesses to supply these items to customers. There are exemptions in place to protect disabled people and those with medical conditions who require plastic straws, and to allow cotton-buds to continue to be used for forensic and scientific purposes.
Businesses will also have time to adapt to these changes, and may continue to supply stock acquired before 1 October for six months.
Mr Thomas said: “It is estimated that 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 help protect our precious marine wildlife and move one step closer to the ambition of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste as set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan.”
Other key government actions on plastics include a world-leading ban on microbeads, consulting on introducing a deposit return scheme to drive up the recycling of single-use drinks containers, and committing to a ban on the export of polluting plastic waste to non-OECD countries. In addition, the 5p charge on single-use bags will be increased to 10p and extended to all retailers from April 2021.
From April 2022 the government will also introduce a new world-leading tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content, to encourage greater use of recycled plastic.