Wildlife Wednesdays: Plastic Ban in England | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 7th 2022

Wildlife Wednesdays: Plastic Ban in England

The use of plastics over the years has been increasing this has caused a dramatic effect on the ecosystem and the wildlife as a whole! In England alone, according to their government, an estimated 4. 7 billion straws, 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and 316 million plastic stirrers are used each year, which then end up in the ocean. The great news is that as of October 1, England government put a ban on these plastic straws, cotton buds, and stirrers, which goes into effect next year. 

According to the article, a number of companies have already moved away from these types of plastics before the ban even came into effect. Many of England's bars and restaurants have replaced plastic straws with paper ones and even stitched to biodegradable cutlery and stirrers! According to Laura Foster, head of clean seas at the Marine Conservation Society, "the society’s annual “Great British Beach Clean” indicated that the number of cotton bud sticks littering British beaches was falling. On average, 31 cotton bud sticks per 100 meters of beach were found in 2017, she explained, compared with just eight per 100 meters on English beaches in 2019." England is taking it a step further and also charging 13 cents for single use plastic bags, starting April 2021!

While this is great news, this will only take care of a fraction of the plastic that enters the oceans and therefore affects our environment and wildlife.  According to Sion Elis Williams, a plastic campaigner at Friends of the Earth, says that "government must come together and get tougher on banning plastics."