The New Ban on Single-Use Plastics and How to Manage It - A Guide for Businesses

Big changes continue to be made to policies and legislation in a bid to reduce the UK’s impact on the environment. One of the latest developments is the ban on single-use plastics taking place in England, which will come into effect on 1 October. 

The ban on single-use plastics will apply to certain products which must no longer be supplied or sold by businesses, including plastic containers and cutlery. It’s important that businesses are prepared for the ban or risk some hefty fines. 

How will the single-use plastics ban affect your business, and how can you manage it? Learn more in our handy guide. 

What is the single-use plastics ban?

What is the single-use plastics ban? 

The single-use plastics ban is one of the latest pieces of legislation being introduced to help reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic in the environment. In England alone, 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery are used each year, with the majority made from plastic, as well as 721 million single-use plates. However, only around 10% are recycled, with the majority ending up in landfills. 

The ban will mean that these types of plastics will no longer be sold or provided by businesses including retailers, food suppliers and hospitality. With overwhelming support for the ban, it could be one of the ways the UK can help reduce carbon emissions and cut down on waste. 

There is a similar ban being introduced in Wales on 1 October, while Scotland became the first UK nation to introduce a ban in 2022 and Northern Ireland has been consulting on plans to introduce their own legalisation. 

What products are affected?

What products are affected? 

The UK government's guidance outlines the different products that will be banned. These include: 

  • Plastic bowls and trays 

There are exemptions to this, including: 

  • you are supplying them to another business 

  • the items are packaging (pre-filled or filled at the point of sale) 

  • Cutlery and balloon sticks 

  • Polystyrene food and drinks containers  

Exemptions to this include products which require additional preparation before it is consumed, such as adding water, microwaving, or toasting.   

As part of the ban, local authorities will be able to carry out inspections to ensure the ban is being upheld. If a business is found to be breaking the law, a fine may be issued.                                                                                                                                                    

How can your business prepare

How can your business prepare 

Businesses are being advised to prepare for the ban by using up their existing supplies and sourcing new alternatives ready for 1 OctoberYou will want to think about your approach to packaging and consider any reusable alternatives you may be able to offer you customers. 

Alternatives to common single-use plastics

Alternatives to common single-use plastics 

If you’re looking for alternatives to single-use plastics used by your business, then there are some great alternatives available. Manufacturers are constantly producing new products that are either reusable or can be recycled more easily to help limit the need for plastic and to boost the environment. Some alternatives for you to consider include: 

  • Bamboo – including cutlery, food trays and drinking straws. 

  • Biodegradable plates 

  • Cardboard and paper products 

  • Pasta! This is commonly used to make straws. 

  • Reusable metal products 

Reducing your waste volume 

Reducing your waste volume  

Eliminating single-use plastics from your business will help you cut back on your waste, while also helping you pass on those reductions to your customers. Finding recyclable alternatives can reduce your carbon footprint, helping your business become greener and more sustainable.  

Another way to reduce your waste volume is to use a baler machine to help compact your waste. This will make it much easier to manage and could even help you save money by cutting back on your waste collections. You could even sell your unwanted cardboard, plastic, and other materials, making some extra money for your business.  

Cardboard balers and plastic balers are available in different sizes, including compact versions which are ideal for smaller businesses with little floor space. These machines will compact your waste in sections, compressing it into neat bales you can store easily until they’re ready to be collected. Plastic disposal will become much simpler, allowing you to make sure it’s recycled properly instead of offending up in a landfill.  

Cut back on waste with a waste baler from

Cut back on waste with a waste baler from phs Wastekit 

At phs Wastekit, we’re committed to helping businesses reduce their waste, and reduce their impact on the environment. Our balers provide businesses with a range of benefits and are easy to use with the help of our baler training sessions.  

If you’re interested in our cardboard or plastic balers, get in touch with the phs Wastekit team today. We can advise you on some of the ways you can cut down on your waste, as well as provide solutions on how to manage it more effectively. Get ready for the single-use plastics ban and help your business promote a greener future for all. 

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