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According to reports, Buckingham Palace has announced a new waste disposal plan, and the Queen has ordered the use of plastic straws and plastic bottles in the royal industry. Not only that, the UK announced that it will ban the use and sale of plastic straws, plastic mixers and plastic swabs starting in April next year. The initiative has been piloted for more than a year to reduce the use of plastics in the UK.
It is estimated that the UK uses 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic blenders and 1.8 billion plastic swabs per year. 10% of these items, especially plastic cotton swabs, were washed down into the toilet and eventually flowed into the river and the ocean. A recent survey found that waterways throughout the UK are filled with plastic, putting wildlife at risk. Plastic pollution has caused more than 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million birds to die each year.
The government encourages merchants to choose plastic substitutes, including beverages that do not contain straws or blenders, or paper straws and biodegradable products.
A government survey found that more than 80% of respondents expressed support for the ban on the sale of plastic straws, and 9/10 of respondents wanted to stop using beverage blenders, and the same number of people supported the ban on plastic swabs. British Environmental Secretary Michael Goff said: "These items usually only take a few minutes, but it takes hundreds of years to degrade." Environmentalists welcomed the government's move, the head of a sewage treatment company said: " Stopping the production and sale of these disposable plastic products can prevent them from polluting the country's beaches."
However, it has also been pointed out that these items are only part of the plastics problem. Pristland, an activist of the folk organization “Friends of the Earth”, said that these three types of items are only a small part of plastic waste, and we need manufacturers to The plastic pollution caused by the product is responsible, whether it is bags, balloons, small packages, containers or other products: "This is why we have to pass legislation to completely reduce the meaning of plastic."
Not only in the UK, the European Union has officially adopted a plan to have a longer “ban list”, including plastic tableware and plastic sheets, by 2021. WWF has called for the ban on all “avoidable disposable plastics” by 2025 and said that ministers need to “strictly fulfill their commitments”.