Single-use plastics ban - What you need to know

October 25, 2023

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has released full in-depth guidance on how to navigate the single-use plastics ban.

Whilst previous campaigns on the responsible disposal of plastic items have urged many businesses to think more sustainably, a number of them still rely on single-use plastics.

We use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery, 721 million single-use plates, and 316 million plastic stirrers every year – but only 10% of these items are recycled and many find their way into our ocean. In a summary of their study carried out in 2020, the Pew Charitable Trusts and SystemIQ state: “The flow of plastic into the ocean is projected to nearly triple by 2040. Without considerable action to address plastic pollution, 50kg of plastic will enter the ocean for every metre of shoreline”.

To address these environmental issues, protect our marine wildlife, and ultimately eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, The Environmental Protection (Plastic Plates etc and Polystyrene Containers etc) (England) Regulations 2023 prohibits businesses from supplying, selling or offering certain single-use plastic items as of October 2023.

The ban includes the following items:

  • straws
  • cotton buds
  • drink stirrers
  • plates, bowls and trays
  • cutlery
  • balloon sticks
  • polystyrene food or drink containers
  • polystyrene cups

If businesses fail to follow the new rules, they risk being investigated by their local authority, which has the power to conduct inspections and issue fines to those that break the law.

Whilst the ban on single-use plastic is beneficial for the environment, we understand that navigating consumer law and how it applies to your business can be complex. So, if you’re a business that uses single-use plastic products in any way, the latest Business Companion guide on single-use plastics is here to help you.

This free resource covers all the key areas of the ban in detail, so you can be prepared and adapt accordingly. Visit the website to find out more:





Call the Business Helpline to find out how we can help your business. Call 0300 111 8002.