New bans and restrictions on polluting single-use plastics come into force

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Some of the most polluting single-use plastic items have been banned from 1 October 2023.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have taken action to tackle the scourge of litter and protect the environment from plastic pollution with bans and restrictions on a range of polluting single-use plastic items came into force from 1st October 2023.

Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage on our ocean, rivers and land. It is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions, from its production and manufacture to the way it is disposed.

The Government has engaged closely with industry to support them in getting ready for the new requirements, including by giving them nine months from the publication of its response to the consultation on the ban to prepare and use up excess stock.

They have also been working closely with relevant trade bodies and local authorities to help businesses and Trading Standards officers be ready for the new rules.

The single-use plastics ban is part of the Government’s wider world-leading action to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution and eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. The Government has already banned microbeads in rinse-off personal care products in 2018 and restricted the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in 2020.

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 plans for an extended producer responsibility scheme, which will incentivise producers to use less packaging and meet higher recycling targets.

But there is still more to do, which is why the Government is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks containers to recycle billions more plastic bottles and stop them being landfilled, incinerated or littered, alongside plans to simplify recycling collections for every household and business in England.

Read the full article here.