Consultation outcome

Single use plastic: banning the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England

This consultation has concluded

Read the full outcome

Draft legislation: The Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Detail of outcome

28 October 2019

We have now drafted the regulations which we intend to use to bring this ban into force in England in April 2020. Any person may make representations on the draft legislation for England in writing to the Secretary of State.

Any such representations should be sent by 11 November 2019 to:

Resources, Waste, and Plastic Strategy Team
2 Marsham Street

or by email to plastics.consultation@defra.

21 May 2019

We received 1602 responses to this consultation.

We will be introducing a ban for:

  • plastic drinking straws (with some exceptions)
  • plastic-stemmed cotton buds (with some exceptions)
  • plastic drink stirrers

The ban on plastic drinking straws is planned to come into force in England in April 2020.

We will also:

  • continue working with all stakeholders including disability groups to make sure that those with accessibility needs are not disproportionately disadvantaged
  • explore a biodegradable standard for plastics
  • take further action against plastic pollution in line with our Resources and Waste Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan

Detail of feedback received

We received a high volume of responses to this consultation. We are considering these views. We expect to publish the summary of responses together with the government response in the summer.

Original consultation


Seeking views on plans to ban the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to know what you think about banning the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England. These single use plastics are associated with negative effects on the environment if they are littered or discarded incorrectly after their use. Not only do they damage terrestrial and marine life, there are costs associated with their clean-up and consequences for the tourism and fishing industries.

The government wants to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. We outlined the steps we will be taking to achieve that in our 25 year environment plan, including new measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.

Published 22 October 2018
Last updated 5 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated the deadline date for sending representations on the draft SI to 11 November 2019.

  2. Updated to include the draft legislation for banning the supply of plastic straws, stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to the end user in England.

  3. Summary of responses and government response added.

  4. Added a note on when to expect the summary of responses and government response.

  5. First published.