Michael Gove considers ban on plastic straws - as number used by MPs soars
Plastic straws could be banned in Britain in a bid to reduce environmental damage, Michael Gove has suggested.
British consumers currently get through around 8.5 billion single-use plastic straws every year - the highest number in Europe.
In the House of Commons alone, the number used by MPs has soared, doubling in just three years to 12,250.
According to new data the number bought for the Parliamentary estate has increased from 6,000 in 2014-15, despite concerns over growing levels of plastic waste.
But the Environment Secretary has hinted their use could come to an abrupt end because of the damage they cause to plants and animals.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Gove said banning plastic straws would be easier after Brexit, because of laws which prevent individual nations from blocking products.
Asked if he would implement a ban when the UK leaves the EU, he replied: “Watch this space.”
He added: “If it is bad, then banning it is a good thing.”
Chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Plastic straws really do suck, often unnecessary in drinks and always out of place in our waterways and on our beaches where they often end up.
"Paper, bamboo and metal alternatives to plastic are freely available and Keep Britain Tidy urges people to swap their straw and never let any straw escape into the environment."