Posted By:The iYFA Team

Post Date:November 16, 2018

How to deal with a ban on single-use plastics

There’s already a tax on carrier bags. Plastic straws and cotton buds could be banned by October 2020, if not sooner. Don’t worry though. There are alternatives.

Plans are underway for the UK Government to ban single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds by October 2020 at the latest. This ban comes after the 5p tax on single-use carrier bags was judged to be a success, having led to an 86% decrease in usage at supermarkets. Why is the government looking at banning these items? What can we use instead? Let’s find out.

Why do we need to eliminate single-use plastic?

Single-use plastic is destroying our oceans. 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the sea every year. A plastic island measuring nearly 2 million square kilometres has grown in the middle of the North Atlantic. Fish and marine life find themselves trapped in plastic, or eating it, which damages their digestive systems. Anyone who saw the recent documentary Blue Planet 2 will know the destruction that plastic in our oceans is causing.

Plastic straws are one of the most significant problems. You generally only use them once then throw them away. If they find their way into the sea, they are eroded by the waves into microplastic particles, which can harm even the smallest sea creatures. In England, 4.7 billion plastic straws are used every year. That figure needs to be drastically reduced. Plastic cotton buds are a different kind of issue. English people get through 1.8 billion of them every year. 10% of them are flushed down the toilet. The problem is, cotton buds are so thin that they get through sewage filters and end up in rivers and seas. Once they are in the sea, they pose a hazard to marine life.

It’s essential that we eliminate the needless use of these hazardous plastic objects. It’s great that the Government are taking action. Assuming the ban becomes law, here are some alternatives to straws and cotton buds you can use without noticing a drop in quality.

Alternatives to plastic drinking straws

When single-use plastic straws become a thing of the past, what will we do instead? The obvious answer is you could put your glass to your lips and swallow, but if you really must use a straw, there are alternatives. You can purchase disposable straws made of paper, or reusable straws made of glass or metal. Better yet, you can use PLA straws. Biodegradable and fully compostable, yet strong and sturdy, these straws give you the convenience of plastic without harming our world.

You can find out more about PLA at the iYFA website.

Alternatives to cotton buds

Luckily for cotton bud devotees, alternatives to plastic cotton buds are now commonplace. Paper-stemmed cotton buds are available in all major supermarkets and chemist chains. You can find out more at The Cotton Bud Project. While you work your way through the old-style plastic ones in your bathroom cupboard, make sure you never flush them down the toilet. Ever.

iYFA – leading the way

At iYFA, we are spearheading the charge to removing single-use plastic from everyday life. We offer businesses the chance to advertise on a range of plastic-free products, including PLA coffee cups, biodegradable merchandise bags, and compostable bags. Starting this November, we’re taking the campaign to the next stage. We’re going to eliminate plastic from Wembley. The town, the arena, especially the stadium. Our products will show that it is possible to stop using plastic and still live a great life. First Wembley, tomorrow the world!

To stay in touch with everything we do at iYFA, subscribe to our mailing list and make sure you follow the hashtag #PlasticFreeWembley.

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