The U.K. government has announced that it is planning on banning the distribution and sale of plastic straws, stirrers, and Q-Tips, CNBC reports. The ban is subject to consultation before it comes into effect, but the government hopes to have it in place sometime between October 2019 and October 2020.
The move is meant to halt the number of plastic items that go into landfills and our seas every year. Such items wreak havoc on ecosystems and human and animal health. Public outcry over the use of plastic straws hit a fever pitch after the video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose went viral.
It is estimated that in England alone people use 4.7 billion plastic straws each year. In America alone, the numbers are far worse, with 500 million plastic straws being used every day.