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Plastic straws set to be banned in the UK

The prime minister has set out plans to ban plastic straws and stirrers, which she said formed part of “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world”.

May discussed this at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, using examples such as the plastic bag ban to show how the UK was combating environmental problems.

The prime minister said: “Around 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year, potentially contributing to the over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans.

“A million birds and 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste, an issue brought to the forefront by the BBC’s Blue Planet II series.”

The environment secretary, Michael Gove will begin a consultation with experts so that time can be allowed for the development of eco-friendly alternatives.

The prime minister urged other Commonwealth countries to sign up to the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance that aims to cleanse the ocean of marine plastics. May also announced that £61.4m worth of funding would be put towards helping other Commonwealth countries fight the plastic problem.

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