Taking into consideration the enormous number of plastic straws and other single-use things used every year, UK Prime Minister Theresa May declared a proposal to ban plastic straws and single-use plastics during a meeting with Commonwealth nations in April 2018, according to Forbes’s report. This ban on plastic drinking straws is one of the approaches of country’s larger plan to decrease plastic waste in the following years. Which, if gone successful, in early 2019, plastic straws and other items like Q-tips could become nothing but history for the United Kingdom.
Americans drop nearly 500 million plastic straws each day. In the U.K., these estimates are about 8.5 billion annually. In the U.S. and Canada, the plastic bans are being adopted by individual cities, like Malibu, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia before it comes into its full action.
In front of a great issue like plastic waste, this isn’t the first step the UK government has taken to take control of the rising pollution. According to Forbes, a charge on plastic bags and a ban on microbeads has already been implemented by the nation.
The charge on the plastic bag approach came out to be so effective that it has reduced the use of single-use plastic bags by 90 percent, which measures it to be a whopping nine billion grocery bags. This Encouraging environmentally friendly strategy and banning wasteful products like plastic straws are supposed to cut back on the UK government’s estimate of “over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans,” as per Forbes’ report.
It’s quite obvious that this ban would bring some business opportunities for some business like the fast food industries. McDonald’s will lead the ban on cutting back on plastic straws, stats a report of Delish. To proceed it further, the restaurant giant’s UK places will start taking the trial of a biodegradable paper equivalent in May 2018.
In addition to the fact that these new straws will be made from greener materials, the new Mickey D’s straws will be placed behind the counter so that consumers will need to ask for one proactively when they truly need one, rather than being given a few with every drink whether needed or not.
Such crucial methods like this will likely continue it’s good to work globally as “part of McDonald’s global strategy to make all guest packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources so as to minimize the plastic waste regenerated by 2025,” as per Delish.
The other side of the coin shows a remarkable side effect of the ban. While a common person may be influenced by the plastic straw ban but the disabled population saw this as a headache. According to the BBC report, the early stages of the UK straw ban reported on its possible implications for the disabled community of the nation.
As soon as the plastic ban came into action, British businesses group started throwing plastic straws to the curb, many disabled individuals worried about how will they continue to drink independently.
As per the BBC report, Stainless steel or glass alternatives are not always fit or safe for disabled people, and they’re not as easily available as the plastic counterparts that many people depend on when they need a drink. If you are thinking about paper or biodegradable alternatives, keep in mind that they don’t often fail to sustain hot beverages, as well.
“The anti-plastic straw debate has enraged me because it has been one-sided,” Rosaleen Moriarty-Simmonds said to the BBC. “No one has consulted disabled people. A significant number of us rely on the humble plastic straw to be able to drink a glass of water, wine, or a cup of coffee.”
No doubt that the possible environmental influences are crucial, these concerns from the disabled community also need to be delt as an issue demanding urgent followup. Now being a bit practical, making more eco-friendly produce widely accessible to the people who need them might work as an ideal settlement to the plastic straws ban, but only time will disclose how widely they can be distributed in advance of the UK’s bancoming into action.
Apart from the government being proactive in the plastic wastage issue, you can take similar efforts on your own in your non-UK-based life as there are a bunch of green alternatives. Majorly two of them are Stainless steel and glass drinking straws, which are reusable, washable, and come in many measures so you can utilize them for drinks of different consistencies. That being said, they serve precisely the same purpose as their plastic alternatives. and comes with a lot smaller of environmental influence.