To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a ban on the sale of (a) plastic straws, (b) plastic stirrers and (c) plastic-stemmed cotton buds on wholesalers that stock those items.
This Government is a world leader in tackling plastic waste. The Prime Minister launched the Department’s 25 Year Environment Plan on 11 January and pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April, the Prime Minister announced that subject to a consultation to be launched by Defra later this year, there will be a ban on the sale/supply of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England. Work is underway with a consultation due to be launched soon. Policy proposals will be subject to an impact assessment.
The Government is aware of the interest in biodegradable plastics. We will seek further evidence in our consultation to check whether assumptions on recyclability and degradation are correct. We also welcome views on whether it is likely that technical innovations in compostable or biodegradable plastics might improve their environmental or economic value.