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In England and from today (October 1) the sale of plastic straws, stirrers or cotton buds is banned. The ban also covers items that are partly made of plastic.

However, retailers have until April 1 2021 to sell any stock bought before today and until July 3 2021 to sell through any drinks that come with a straw attached.

If you do not stop selling or supplying these items, you could be fined. Your local authority will set the fine.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Single-use plastics cause real devastation to the environment and this government is firmly committed to tackling this issue head on.

“We are already a world-leader in this global effort. Our 5p charge on single-use plastic bags has successfully cut sales by 95% in the main supermarkets, we have banned microbeads, and we are building plans for a deposit return scheme to drive up the recycling of single-use drinks containers.

“The ban on straws, stirrers and cotton buds is just the next step in our battle against plastic pollution and our pledge to protect our ocean and the environment for future generations.”

The full guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/straws-cotton-buds-and-drink-stirrers-ban-rules-for-businesses-in-england

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