Bans and restrictions come into force in England for additional single-use plastics

On Sunday 1 October, new bans and restrictions came into force for a range of polluting single use plastic items.

This has been implemented with the intent to drive the reduction of litter and increase the reuse of materials, taking steps towards adopting principles of the circular economy and minimising environmental plastic pollution. Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down, inflicting serious damage on the environment, threatening wildlife and human health.

Businesses will no longer be able to supply or sell single use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks, polystyrene cups and food containers in England. The supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls has also been restricted.

In guidance shared earlier this year, Defra outlined 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.

It is not relating to circumstances where single use trays, plates, bowls may be used as packaging for raw meat or shelf-ready pre-packaged items. This is primarily to avoid duplication or confusion with proposed extended producer responsibility scheme, where these items would be liable under packaging regulations.

The implementation of this ban is welcomed by the public, with 95% of people in favour of all prohibitions. It is also refreshing to see business and the public wanting to the right thing and by banning theses items will make a significant different.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, in response to the implementation of the ban said;

‘This new ban is the next big step in our mission to crack down on harmful plastic waste. It will protect the environment and help to cut litter – stopping plastic pollution dirtying our streets and threatening our wildlife. This builds on world-leading bans on straws, stirrers and cotton buds, our single-use carrier bag charge and our plastic packaging tax, helping us on our journey to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042’.

So, what actions are needed to be taken by organisations to prepare for this?

Beyondly’s Resource Efficiency Leader, Chris Smith (CRWM) and Resource Efficiency Consultant, Charlotte Davies (AIEMA) will be speaking at the upcoming UK Plastic Packaging Regulatory Update on 15th November, which will cover details on UK Single Use Plastic Ban, as well as getting to ready for EPR and updates on the Plastic Packaging Tax. For more information, or to register on this event, click here

Together we can drive forward a circular economy. Get in touch with Beyondly to understand what you can do within your businesses. 

Someone holding up a plastic bottle