The government of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is launching a domestic and international program against plastic straws.
The idea is to have them and other single-use items gone by 2042 when the prime minister turns 86. May said:
Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Plastic is plastic anywhere. It doesn’t rust away, resists natural degrading. And plastic straws, believe it or not, are among the most ubiquitous of man-made items polluting the waters and endangering marine life.
So, May’s program focusses on plastic refuse getting in the oceans, something other nations can easily identify with. She made her announcement about the national plan of action on the eve of a Commonwealth Heads of State summit meeting. The group includes 53 nations, mostly former British colonies.
May committed $87 million to helping Commonwealth nations combat plastic waste and to help develop new methods of disposal. “Together,” she said, “we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”
Also on May’s plastic targets list are those little plastic drink stirrers and cotton-tipped plastic ear swabs, like Q-tips.
And let’s be fair here, May’s increasing interest in the old Commonwealth is connected to Britain’s impending departure from the European Union and the need for England to expand existing trading relationships and develop new ones.