05 Oct 2023
by Liz Whyte

Reminder: new bans and restrictions on additional single-use plastics came into force over the weekend

Reminder: new bans and restrictions on additional single-use plastics came into force over the weekend

This ban applies to England only

New bans and restrictions on a range of polluting single-use* plastic items came into force this weekend (Sunday 1 October), helping to cut litter and drive up the reuse of materials. See the Defra announcement here.

No business – whether retailer, takeaway, food vendor or part of the hospitality industry – can now sell single-use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks nor polystyrene cups and food containers in England. The supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls has also been restricted.

Where bans and restrictions on these items apply, this will include:

  • online and over-the-counter sales and supply
  • items from new and existing stock
  • biodegradable, bio-based, compostable and recycled plastic
  • items wholly or partly made from plastic, including coating or lining.

The ban will not apply to single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items as these will be included in our plans for an extended producer responsibility scheme, which will incentivise producers to use less packaging and meet higher recycling targets.

The government has set out plans to drive up the repair and reuse of existing materials and increase recycling, including via the ‘Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste’ programme announced in July. This brings together a range of measures backed by government funding to help keep products and materials in circulation for as long as possible and at their highest value, in turn growing the economy and boosting employment.


We know that people and businesses want to do the right thing for the environment and support our ban on single-use plastics. However, if the rules are not complied with, a range of enforcement options have been provided, including both civil and criminal sanctions. The bans will be enforced by Trading Standards.

Further information

Further questions

* ‘Single-use’ means the item is meant to be used only once for its original purpose.

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