Single use plastics ban – Is your business ready?

DEFRA Single Use Plastic Ban

From 1st October 2023, Defra (Department for Environment and Rural Affairs) have announced that there will be a ban in England, on certain types of single use plastics, often used in the hospitality industry.


This ban impacts on many businesses, particularly those associated with fast food and take-aways, whether they are retailers, suppliers or manufacturers.

Hopefully, most businesses are aware of the legislation and have already taken steps to review their supply arrangements to find alternative non plastic materials - which can be safely used for the same purpose. It’s worth noting that biodegradable and compostable plastics are also covered by the ban. Defra’s guidance is that these compostable plastics are not designed to be re-used and they are therefore deemed for single use only.

The Government wants to reduce plastic pollution and the littering on our streets which is often associated with fast food restaurants and take-aways. These items are a source of greenhouse emissions and can take many hundreds of years to break down which is damaging for our environment.


Full details of Defra’s announcement can be found here. In particular their Q&A section on their toolkit is worth reading.


Which types of plastic items are banned?

The new legislation bans the following:


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Any food and drink containers or cups which are made of expanded or extruded polystyrene

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Single use plastic cutlery

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Single use plastic balloon sticks



These changes are in addition to the previous ban on single use plastic drink stirrers, and microbeads commonly used in some personal care products.


Additional plastic items placed under restriction

In addition to the banned items there are other plastic items which will be placed under restrictions of use and these have been identified as follows:


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Single use plastic plates bowls and trays

These items are banned if the items themselves are sold directly to the public. However, if a business provides these items as pre-packaged food items, shelf-ready then this can continue to be supplied.

What do businesses need to do?

Businesses will need to comply with the regulations when they come into effect on the 1st October 2023. To help we have also made some helpful suggestions about what else your can do to prepare:


  • Use existing stock before the change comes into effect on the 1st of October.
  • Ensure that any new stocks comply with the regulations and that any products sourced and used are not made from any of the banned plastics.
  • Place any stock items that do fall under the banned list into a safe area where they cannot be mistakenly used after 1st October and arrange for the safe disposal of these items.

Trading Standards

It is hoped that businesses will embrace the new legislation and make the necessary changes in a timely manner. However, Trading Standards will be tasked with enforcing the ban. The Government have also suggested that further enforcement options could be used including civil and criminal sanctions.


Contact Us

If you are holding stock of these items and would like to talk to us about the safe disposal for your business, please contact our Customer Support Team between 08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Friday, by clicking the button below.