New restrictions single-use plastics come into force

1 October saw new bans and restrictions on a number of single-use plastics come into effect, affecting the retailers, hospitality, take-away vendors and more.

The Environmental Protection (Plastic Plates etc. and Polystyrene Containers etc.) (England) Regulations 2023 state that from 1 October, businesses may not offer or sell single-use plastic cutlery, balloon stirrers as well as single-use plastic bowls, plates and trays. Polystyrene cups and containers are also caught by the ban unless further preparation is needed by the contents before it is consumed - e.g. heating, or toasting.

Although basic guidance has been released by the government since these measures were announced back in January, businesses are reminded that the ban includes:

  • 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

The ban does not apply to single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items.

Businesses who do not comply with the ban can be fined by Trading Standards and inspections will be made locally to ensure the ban is complied with. 

This new ban follows the previous ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers, unless they were for exempt users such as pharmacists and for medical purposes.

Posted on 10/05/2023 by Ortolan

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