The UK government has delayed the ban of single-use plastic items including straws, stirrers and cotton buds due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a memo sent to companies from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) - it was announced the ban has now been postponed from the end of April until October.
"Given the huge challenges posed to businesses by coronavirus, we have confirmed we will delay the introduction of our ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds until October 2020," Defra said in a statement.
"We remain absolutely committed to turning the tide on the widespread use of single-use plastics and the threat they pose to our natural environment.
"This ban is yet another measure to clamp down on unnecessary plastic so we can better protect our precious wildlife and leave our environment in a better state for future generations."
The six-month delay has received backlash from environmentalists including Louise Edge, a plastic campaigner at Greenpeace
According to the Financial Times, Edge described the delay as 'understandable', but stated: "The country has said no to pointless plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds and the sooner they are banned, the better."