DEFRA: Single-Use Plastic Ban

Businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England.
Single Use Plastic Cups and Forks

DEFRA Implements Ban on Single-Use Plastics: England Takes a Stand for a Sustainable Future

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have announced that from 1st October 2023, businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England. 

The single-use plastics which are subjected to the ban include:

  • Plates, bowls and trays
  • Cutlery and balloon sticks
  • Polystyrene food and drink containers

The guidance states that the ban on these items will include:

  • online and over-the-counter sales and supply
  • items from new and existing stock
  • all types of single-use plastic, including biodegradable, compostable and recycled
  • items wholly or partly made from plastic, including coating or lining

The guidance also provides information on where exemptions can be applied on individual products. 

  • DEFRA has provided information on how businesses can prepare for the single-plastic ban, such as the following:
  • using up existing stock before 1 October
  • finding reusable alternatives to single-use items
  • using different materials for single-use items

Local authorities will be tasked with conducting inspections in businesses to ensure that the ban is being implemented. DEFRA has extended powers to Inspectors so they can:

  • visit a shop or store
  • make test purchases
  • speak to staff
  • request store records

Those who are caught violating the new ban may be subjected to a fine.