United Kingdom Bans Plastic Straws


Editorial Policy

Published on

Last updated on

Photo by Thomas Vimare

[A]s of April 2020, plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds (Q-tips) will officially be banned in the United Kingdom. On Wednesday, May 22, the U.K. government confirmed a ban on the plastic items following overwhelming public support: over 80% of respondents backed a ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, 90% a ban on drinks stirrers, and 89% a ban on cotton buds. It’s estimated that the country currently uses 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic drink stirrers, and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds annually.

Exemptions will be in place to allow for the use of the items where necessary: plastic-stemmed cotton buds will be available for medical and scientific purposes, registered pharmacies will be allowed to sell plastic straws online and in-store for those who medically need them, and restaurants, pubs, and catering establishments will only be allowed to hand out plastic straws upon request. The U.K. government will carry out a stocktake one year after the ban is put into effect to assess the impact of the measures and see if changes to the ban are necessary.

Share This Article

Fresh Cup Staff

Join 7,000+ coffee pros and get top stories, deals, and other industry goodies in your inbox each week.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Articles You May Like

Five Places, Five Operating Hours

Are you an all-day cafe, or do you close shop right after the morning rush? Learn how coffee shops choose their ideal operating hours for profitability, safety, and customer experience.
by Haley Greene | December 20, 2023

Survey Results: The 2023 Coffee Business Owner Salary Report

We surveyed owners of coffee shops and coffee roasting companies to learn how much business owners make in the coffee industry. Here’s what we found.
by Garrett Oden | September 13, 2023

At Clutch Coffee Bar, Drive-Thru Reigns Supreme

Drive-thrus can feel rushed and impersonal. But folks like Clutch Coffee Bar are reimagining the drive-thru model as a vehicle for fun, friendly, and fast customer experiences.
by Anne Mercer | September 1, 2023

How Technology Empowers Coffee Shops to Deliver Consistent Quality

Consistent coffee quality is the key to driving repeat customers. But consistency can be difficult to maintain without the right tools in your arsenal.
by Anne Mercer | July 14, 2023