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Dominica announces new protections for sperm whales

Dominica has placed almost 800 square kilometers of sea off the west coast of the...
Commerson's dolphin

New Important Marine Mammal Areas added to global ocean conservation list

Commerson's dolphin Experts from a number of countries have mapped out a new set of...
Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

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blue whale

Whale fossil from Peru may have been heavier than blue whale

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Ban on plastic straws in UK announced

Plastic pollution on beach

The UK Government has announced a ban on the sale of plastic straws, plastic stemmed cotton buds and plastic stirrers.

The ban will come into place in England from next April in the hope that it will help reduce the effect of plastic on the environment.

Billions of plastic straws, buds and stirrers are discarded each year, many of which find their way into the ocean after being flushed down the toilet.

Once in the ocean plastic never biodegrades and poses a serious risk to the lives of whales and dolphins. Over 50% of all species have been observed eating plastic waste that they have mistaken for food.

The Government wants to encourage people to use paper alternatives if necessary but has stated that exceptions will be made for people with a medical need or disability if requested.

Whilst the ban is a good start on the road to reducing plastic pollution, the removal of these items is only the first step, and the Government in the UK has been urged to widen the ban to a huge range of plastic items in the next few years as a matter of urgency.

For more on plastic pollution and how to reduce your plastic use, visit WDC’s

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