The U.K. will become the first country to ban plastic straws in hopes of saving the environment from plastic waste.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced Wednesday plans to criminalize the use of all plastic waste by 2042. The ban includes stirrers and cotton swabs, two of the major causes of environmental disaster, according to May.
“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,” May said in the statement announcing the ban.
England has already foisted excessive fees on plastic bags in the name of protecting the climate. London, for its part, is also taking part in the campaign to ban items deemed too dangerous for use.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan cracked down in March on knife-carrying citizens in response to a spate of stabbings that pushed the city’s murder rate past New York’s for the “first time in modern history.”
Khan’s crusade against knives is in keeping with London’s belligerent position on weapons. The city has long mandated, for instance, strict licensing rules for shotguns and rifles and has effectively banned handgun ownership.
Khan deployed an additional 300 Metropolitan Police officers over the weekend to work exclusively against knife crime, urging them to be more “confident” in their authority to stop anyone suspected of carrying a weapon.
Local officials in the U.S. have also considered banning straws. Three members of Berkeley’s city council in California proposed legislation in the final week of May that would ban plastic straws, reported KPIX. The city has previously banned plastic bags and placed an extra tax on soda.