The UK Government has postponed the ban on single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that due to the ongoing pandemic and subsequent disruption to businesses, the ban is being delayed until October.
The ban was originally due to come into force this month after legislation was laid in Parliament in March.
Defra stressed the delay was not due to lobbying from the plastics sector and says Ministers have decided to delay the ban ‘to avoid additional burdens for firms at this challenging time’.
A Defra spokesperson said: “Given the huge challenges posed to businesses by coronavirus, we have confirmed we will delay the introduction of our ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds until October 2020.
“We remain absolutely committed to turning the tide on the widespread use of single-use plastics and the threat they pose to our natural environment. This ban is yet another measure to clamp down on unnecessary plastic so we can better protect our precious wildlife and leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”