Are you ready for the single use plastic ban?
Since the UK government announced the introduction of a single use plastic ban, there has been industry wide confusion on the finer details of the restrictions. The ban is set to come in to force on October 1st, a date that is now looming on the horizon! We've put the following guide together to try and help make the rules a little clearer, we're here to help with any questions or advice on single use plastic alternatives suitable for your business.
From October 1st the supply or sale of certain single-use plastic items will be banned from businesses, including food vendors, retailers, takeaways and the hospitality industry.
‘Single-use’ means the item is intended to be used only once for its original purpose. The ban is already in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland and will come into effect in England from 1st October 2023 and Wales from Autumn 2023.
While the UK has already taken action to tackle plastic waste it is deemed that existing policies do not sufficiently address the challenge. The case for reducing select single-use plastic items remains, particularly as such items are often found littered. In addition, there are certain plastic items that cannot be recycled at scale and if not disposed of correctly, could end up in our land or marine environment.
Which items are banned?
All plastic disposable cutlery, all EPS food containers, plates and cups, and select plastic plates, bowls and trays are banned. Banned items relate to those sold to consumers, for example selling packs of plastic plates and plastic cutlery for a party at home. The ban also includes biodegradable, compostable and recycled single-use plastic. From 2024, Wales will introduce a ban on all PS lids for cups and food containers.
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
Which items are NOT affected by the ban?
Plastic plates, bowls and trays are NOTsubject to the ban if you are supplying them to another business or the items are packaging (pre-filled or filled at the point of sale). For example, a pre-filled salad bowl or ready meal packaged in a tray; a plate filled at the counter of a takeaway; a tray used to deliver food. You can still supply food or drink in polystyrene containers if it needs further preparation before it is consumed, for example adding water; microwaving; toasting.