World Wide Fund for Nature says that UK uses 13.2 billion cotton buds a year, more than any other member of the European Union, as well as 44.1 billion stirrers and 42 billion straws.
Prime Minister Theresa May said plastic waste was “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world” and the United Kingdom was taking a lead in tackling the problem.
Official figures show that Britons use 44billion plastic stirrers. “Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we now find it”, she added.
It comes after May set out plans to get rid of avoidable plastic waste within 25 years.
The statement said environment minister Michael Gove would launch a consultation later this year into the plan to ban the plastic items.
A deposit return scheme for single-use bottles is also going to be introduced in England, subject to consultation. Explaining why cotton buds, straws and stirrers have been singled out, he says: “We have targeted these products because…”
In Britain, the large pub chain Wetherspoons announced in September that it was replacing plastic straws with paper alternatives, which they said would save 70 million plastic straws a year.
“We’ve already seen a number of retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use, however it’s only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation – we all have a role to play in turning the tide on plastic”.
Britain is planning to spend $87.2 million to develop new ways of eliminating plastic waste and to help Commonwealth countries do the same.