Info from The Government:
Bans and restrictions on a range of polluting single-use plastic items have come into force today, 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. The new regulations were announced in January.
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.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow 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 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.
Public responses to the consultation on the ban demonstrated overwhelming support, with 95% in favour of all prohibitions. People and businesses want to do the right thing for the environment and banning these items will be a significant help in reducing plastic waste and littering – plastic cutlery, for instance, was in the top 15 most littered items in the country in 2020.
The ban will not apply to single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
Hospitality businesses have made huge strides in reducing their plastic usage and that progress has resulted in the vast majority of venues already eliminating single-use cutlery from their operations, a crucial part of our ambitions to reach net zero.
We’ve been pleased to work with the Government to ensure these new bans and restrictions are also practical for hospitality businesses, all while working towards the nation’s sustainability goals.