Introduce a 5p plastic drinking straw tax, says firm
Single-use plastic drinking straws should be taxed in a bid reduce the number of straws ending up in landfills each year, a recycling and waste firm has said.
BusinessWaste.co.uk says that manufacturers should revert back to the traditional biodegradable straws, which decompose quickly in landfill or tax the use of single-use plastic straws.
The firm says that use of the single-use straws should be treated like a single use bag, with a 5p charge to be enforced regulation to all pubs, clubs, restaurants and the fast food industry.
It takes centuries to decompose the plastic in a single-use drinking straw, which causes both land and sea pollution.
BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, said: "A plastic straw has a lifespan of around 20 minutes, add then is throw away.
"More often than not, it ends up in general waste and landfill. "It's immense waste of resources and there are alternatives that anybody can use. Paper straws are an alternative."
While the simple answer would be to recycle them, limited recycling facilities are readily available to catering outlets, which means that they are thrown away and buried in the ground for several centuries.
BusinessWaste.co.uk wants to see catering outlets and manufacturers to switch to using paper straws, which decompose quickly - or simply stop using straws.
"Charge 5p per plastic straw, and we'll see their use plummet," says Hall. "We don't need to invent anything new. We don't need to invest in more advanced products. we just need to change out way of thinking."
Charles Sellers from Inn Suppliers, a firm which provides straws for caterers, defended their use to BBC News, saying: "Paper straws are outdated - they're not so aesthetically pleasing."
He added: "Anyway, some of the paper straws aren't easy to recycle because they've got a polyethylene lining."
A parliamentary petition with over three thousand signatures was recently closed.
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