The United Kingdom Might Ban Plastic To Reduce Ocean Pollution

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Photo Courtesy by npr.org

In England, plastic straws, drink stirrers, and cotton swabs might be banned in order to reduce plastic waste in the ocean, which will help lead to the ending of ocean pollution, according to cnn.com.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, made this announcement at a meeting of Commonwealth Nations on Wednesday, April 18, according to npr.org.

May explained to the Head of the Commonwealth Government that “plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda,” according to nydailynews.com.

Multiple events and places in UK such as music festivals and stores are beginning to enforce the ban on plastic at the locations. It is estimated that about one million plastic bottles are used at festivals and end up in the ocean, according to npr.org.

Michael Grove, Environment Secretary, will make a consultation later in 2018 to ban plastic. Businesses will be given some time to adapt to the conditions before the ban becomes official, according to cnn.com.

It is estimated that about 150 metric tons of plastic are in the ocean and 10,000 sea animals are dying due to all the trash. For example, items such as cotton buds get flushed down in the toilet, and end up in the ocean, according to theguardian.com.

Since March 2018, the United Kingdom government has had ideas to introduce a deposit on plastic bottles. Customers will have to pay extra money when buying drink containers for only one use. The customers’ money will be refunded when the container is recycled, according to cnn.com.

The deposit on plastic isn’t an official law but, Michael Grove hopes for it to become an official law by 2020, according to npr.org.

“There is some concern that EU laws mean that we can’t ban straws at moment, but I’m doing everything I can to ensure that we end this scourge,” stated Grove, according to thegaurdian.com.

In the United States of America, many states in the such as Chicago, Hawaii, and Massachusetts put the ban on plastic bags. Some states don’t ban plastic bags, but they charge for plastic bag usage, according to ncsl.org.