Prime Minister Says Australia Won't Be Banning Plastic Straws

Not on the cards

19 April 2018

Article heading image for Prime Minister Says Australia Won't Be Banning Plastic Straws

Plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds could be banned in the United Kingdom, but Malcolm Turnbull stopped short of backing a similar ban at home.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has laid out plans to ban single-use plastics in a bid to stop pollution.

But Mr Turnbull, in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, wouldn't commit to doing the same in Australia.

"The banning of plastic bags and other items of plastic has been debated in Australia over many years; it's largely a matter of state regulation, the Productivity Commission has had a look at it, it's something that will come up for review," Mr Turnbull told reporters in London on Thursday.

"It's not a simple matter, because it can impose additional costs and can create additional pollution, so the important point is to ensure plastic waste does not find its way into our oceans."

The UK has a particular problem with plastic waste, as many supermarkets and takeaway shops pre-package vegetables and other meals in plastic.

It has already banned microbeads and cut plastic bag use.

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