A new ban on certain single use plastic items has come into force as of the 1st October.
No business – whether retailer, takeaway, food vendor or part of the hospitality industry – will now be able to sell single-use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks nor polystyrene cups and food containers in England. The supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls has also been restricted.
Research shows people across England use 2.7 billion items of mostly plastic single-use cutlery and 721 million single-use plates every year, but only 10% of these are recycled. If 2.7 billion pieces of cutlery were lined up, they would go round the world more than eight-and-a-half times.
The single-use plastics ban is part of the Government’s wider world-leading action to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution and eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. The Government has already banned microbeads in rinse-off personal care products in 2018 and restricted the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in 2020.
But there is still more to do, which is why the Government is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks containers to recycle billions more plastic bottles and stop them being landfilled, incinerated or littered, alongside plans to simplify recycling collections for every household and business in England.
Responses from the public to the consultation on the ban demonstrated overwhelming support, with 95% in favour of all prohibitions.