Pressure is growing on Malta and other Commonwealth nations to ban the sale of plastic straws and cotton buds.
Environmental campaigners say the move would help to protect our seas from the growing problem of plastic pollution.
Theresa May told Commonwealth leaders that plastic straws would be outlawed across England ‘very soon’.
She urged other nations, including Malta, to ‘join the fight’ against plastic pollution.
The UK prime minister told the Commonwealth summit in London: ‘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.
‘We have put forward ambitious plans to further reduce plastic waste from straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
‘The Commonwealth is a unique organisation, with a huge diversity of wildlife, environments and coastlines.
‘Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.’
There are around 8.5 billion plastic straws thrown away each year, contributing to at least 150 million tons of plastic in the sea.
Louise Edge from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace said: ‘It is important that the government follows up by going beyond phasing out plastic stirrers, cotton buds and straws, for those who don’t need them.
‘Other non-recyclable problem plastic should also be banned at the earliest opportunity.’
89.7 Bay‘s Making Malta Green and Clean campaign has also been raising awareness about the issue.