We want to ensure that retailers, suppliers and manufacturers are aware of the changes coming into effect, when they will be required to make them and why the ban is coming into force.
The upcoming ban includes polystyrene cups and food containers, single-use plastic cutlery and single-use balloon sticks. There will also be a restriction to the supply of single-use plastic trays and bowls to members of the public, although businesses can continue to supply these items if they are used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items.
Businesses will need to use up existing stock and find alternative substitutes or reuse solutions by 1 October 2023.
This ban compliments the existing restrictions on other single-use plastic items including plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers and the carrier bag charge.
The government is committed to tackling plastic pollution and littering and to reduce avoidable waste. Single-use plastics have damaging environmental impacts as they are commonly littered and are difficult to recycle. These impacts need to be managed so that we can protect our environment.
Damaging environmental impacts: Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to the environment. It is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed of.
Unnecessary littering: England uses around 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates per year, but only 10% are recycled.
If the rules are not complied with, a range of enforcement options have been provided, including both civil and criminal sanctions. The bans will be enforced by Trading Standards.