The Conservative Government is set to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds to protect our rivers as part of the latest batch of positive announcements for the environment.

This announcement is part of a broader programme to tackle plastic waste, which includes a ban on microbeads, the 5p plastic bag charge, and last month’s pledge to introduce a deposit return system for single use drinks containers.

Plastic waste is one of the great environmental challenges facing the world, as the recent coverage of marine pollution has shown.

Closely to home, I am leading work within the Department of Health to look at how we take a number of measures to ensure the NHS acts in a more environmental friendly way.  More soon on this.

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