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Get ready for ban on single use plastics - Councils Urge Published Date: 02/10/2023

Businesses need to ensure they are prepared for the ban on certain single use plastic items coming into effect this weekend, the Local Government Association said.  The new regulations were announced in January and extensive work has taken place throughout 2023 to provide further guidance on the ban for businesses.

Items such as polystyrene food containers and plastic cutlery will be banned from Sunday (1 October).

The 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.

The restrictions aim to reduce the amount of non-recyclable material ending up in bins, and then on into landfill or incineration.

Councils will have to enforce the ban locally through their trading standards teams and want to alert businesses to these changes.

The LGA is concerned that not enough businesses and individuals are aware of the changes.

This risks creating costs for councils in enforcing the ban – at a time when trading standards teams are facing resource and workforce pressures - and continuing to collect and dispose of material.

The LGA is also calling on the Government to go further and introduce the new Extended Producer Responsibility to incentivise producers to reduce waste and increase recyclable packaging.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Environment spokesperson for the LGA, said:

“Councils are sure that businesses want to comply with these new regulations and keep plastic waste to a minimum.

“However, we are concerned that some local businesses and consumers are not aware of the impending ban on these materials and would encourage everyone to take a look at the materials impacted by it.

“This is a valuable policy to reduce waste but there is still more to do. We are keen the Government introduces Extended Producer Responsibility to incentivise producers to reduce waste and increase recyclable packaging, as well as enable councils to work with communities to improve recycling.”