Pollution is one of the major environmental crises that the world is now facing. Different countries are taking special measures to combat pollution.
England has recently banned plastic straws, plastic stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. It was a long-awaited step to protect the environment, but due to the pandemic, there was a delay in the implementation of the law. Now, finally, it is in place.
The retailers in England are now barred from supplying or selling plastic straws, plastic stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to cut down pollution due to plastics. However, there are exemptions for people with disabilities or having medical conditions.
It is estimated that about 4.7 billion plastic straws, 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and 316 million plastic stirrers are used by people in England every year. So, banning these means millions of plastic products won’t end up in the landfills, thus reducing pollution due to plastics considerably.
Plastic is non-biodegradable, so they cause pollution. People use these plastic items for only a few minutes. But once they throw them out, these take hundreds of years to break down and fall into the ocean, thus affecting marine life.
Cutting on plastic is a great move to reduce the pollution level of the country. However, there has been debate about this issue. According to Tatiana Lujan, a plastic lawyer says that plastic straws, plastic stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds only form a tiny fraction of the volume of plastic used in the country.
These plastics give out toxic substances and emit greenhouse gases even during their production stage. She states that other countries, like Ireland and France, have taken more effective steps to deal with plastic. They are focusing on reusable packaging and deposit return schemes.
Like Ireland and France, England must also encourage the use of reusable materials and get rid of single-use materials. So, reusable packaging must be used so that the packaging material doesn’t go into landfills. More innovative solutions can reduce the level of pollution in the future.