Businesses in England are being reminded by Trading Standards officials that they have until October 1st to get rid of certain single-use plastic items – or run the risk of being fined.
Businesses such as takeaways, sandwich shops and retailers will no longer be able to use a range of items including all single-use plastic cutlery, trays, plates, bowls, and balloon sticks, as well as certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers used to supply ready-to-eat food.
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, and items wholly or partly made from plastic, including coating or lining.
It is estimated that England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery each year, and 721 million single-use plates. Only 10 per cent of these items are recycled.
Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed.
It is expected that banning these items will have a significant impact in reducing plastic waste and littering in England.