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Updated Dec 14, 2022

England to ban single-use plastic items after a consultation

Following the consultation run at the end of 2021, the government is set to introduce a ban on commonly littered and often not recycled (or recyclable) single-use plastic items, such as cutlery, plates, polystyrene cups, trays and similar. This move is welcomed by environmental and waste campaigners, however, they said that the progress on reducing plastic waste was "snail-paced" with the EU banning those items in July 2021.

In the coming weeks, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Thérèse Coffey, will unveil plans to phase out those items from the English market and replace them with biodegradable alternatives.

The new ban will come after, in 2020, the UK government brought into force the Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations SI 2020/971, which restricted the supply of the mentioned items to help improve the environment and reduce needless plastic waste, with certain exceptions, which was a success.

The spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said: "We are determined to go further and faster to reduce, reuse, and recycle more of our resources in order to transform our waste industry and deliver on our commitments in the ambitious 25-year environment plan. Cutting our reliance on single-use plastics is crucial.

"Having already banned single-use straws, stirrers and cotton buds and ended the sale of billions of single-use bags with our plastic bag charge, we will be responding soon to a consultation on further bans of plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks and expanded and extruded polystyrene cups."