Operators warned over plastic stirrer and straw ban

Operators warned over plastic stirrer and straw ban

Operators are being warned that they only have a month to ensure they have plans in place to meet the Government ban on straws and stirrers.

The Government has confirmed that the ban on plastic straws and stirrers will start from next month (April) after the legislation was laid in Parliament earlier this month.

In England it is estimated that 4.7bn plastic straws and 316m plastic stirrers are used every year.

In a bid to strike the right balance between reducing environmental impact while protecting the rights of people with medical conditions and disabilities, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops will not be able to display plastic straws,  automatically hand them out, or offer them. However, they will be able to provide them on request.

The British Coffee Association (BCA) said it has advised companies and operators to purchase re-usable or biodegradable alternatives.

The organisation said it supports the ban on plastic straws and stirrers as these single-use plastics  “add considerable waste to landfill each year and are not recycled.” 

“This is unlike paper coffee cups, which are recyclable and are increasingly being captured and recycled in dedicated waste streams, both in-store and whilst on the go in specific high-street bins,” the spokesman from BCA said.

“Since the introduction of the policy to ban plastic straws and stirrers in May last year many UK coffee businesses have been sourcing more sustainable products and introducing them to consumers, for example paper straws and biodegradable stirrers. Metal straws have also become a popular choice amongst consumers as they can be cleaned and re-used and have a long-life.”

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