Convenience margin drivers, such as slush and coffee machines, will be hit by a ban on plastic straws and drink stirrers. 

The law change was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and is subject to a consultation set to be launched by environment secretary Michael Gove later this year. Approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in the UK.

The Government said it would: "Work with industry to develop alternatives and ensure there is sufficient time to adapt.”

Describing the upcoming ban, Gove said: “We’ve already seen a number of retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use, however it’s only through Government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment.”

The move is also likely traditional products such Capri-Sun and Ribena cartons.

Commenting on the Government’s plans, the British Plastics Federation said: "Clearly there are products and materials that could be used less. We are supportive of interventions that will help consumers distinguish, and we look forward to engaging constructively with the government.”

The move follows several other measures to be introduced in the UK to tackle plastic waste. These include deposit return schemes, single use plastics taxes, extending the 5p carrier bag charge and free water bottle refill points.

RN columnist Neville Rhodes reflects on how convenience retailers can help reduce plastic