From 1 October 2023, businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England.
Trading Standards are reminding businesses, such as takeaways, sandwich shops and retailers, that the ban soon comes into force.
The ban includes all single-use plastic cutlery, trays, plates, bowls, and balloon sticks, as well as banning the use of certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers used to supply food which is ready to consume.
The ban on these items will include:
- online and over-the-counter sales and supply
- items from new and existing stock
- all types of single-use plastic, including biodegradable, compostable and recycled
- items wholly or partly made from plastic, including coating or lining
‘Single use’ means the item is meant to be used only once for its original purpose.
It is estimated that England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery each year, and 721 million single-use plates. Only 10 per cent of these items are recycled.
Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed.
It is expected that banning these items will have a significant impact in reducing plastic waste and littering in England.
How to prepare for the ban
You can prepare your business for the new rules by:
- using up existing stock before 1 October
- finding re-usable alternatives to single-use items
- using different materials for single-use items
If you continue to supply banned single-use plastics after 1 October, you could be fined.
There are some exemptions to the ban, depending on the item.