The Local Government Association (LGA) says it’s concerned that many businesses and consumers are not aware of the upcoming ban on some single-use plastic items coming into effect 1 October.
The ban, which was announced in January, means no business will be able to sell single-use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks, or polystyrene cups and food containers in England.
Single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items are not set to be banned as the items are included in plans for an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme.
As councils will have to enforce the ban locally through their trading standards teams, the LGA says they want to alert businesses to these changes and is concerned that not enough businesses and customers are aware of the changes.
We are keen the Government introduces EPR to incentivise producers to reduce waste and increase recyclable packaging.
The lack of awareness of the upcoming changes risks creating costs for councils as they are tasked with enforcing the ban, the LGA says.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Environment spokesperson for the LGA, said the ban would be valuable in reducing waste but is keen to see the UK Government go further and introduce EPR for packaging.
“We are keen the Government introduces EPR to incentivise producers to reduce waste and increase recyclable packaging, as well as enable councils to work with communities to improve recycling.”
Responses to the UK Government’s consultation on the ban were overwhelmingly supportive with 95% in favour of all prohibitions. The UK Government says it has “engaged closely” with industry, relevant trade bodies and local authorities to help businesses and Trading Standards officers prepare for the new rules.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said today (29 September): “This new ban is the next big step in our mission to crack down on harmful plastic waste. It will protect the environment and help to cut litter – stopping plastic pollution dirtying our streets and threatening our wildlife.
This new ban is the next big step in our mission to crack down on harmful plastic waste.
“This builds on world-leading bans on straws, stirrers and cotton buds, our single-use carrier bag charge and our plastic packaging tax, helping us on our journey to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.”
Last week (18 September), Rishi Sunak drew criticism after he announced he was scrapping “burdensome” proposals he says would “force” British people to have seven different bins in their homes.
Shortly afterwards, Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) announced it was replacing “Consistency in Recycling” with a new programme called “Simpler Recycling”, which it said would be outlined shortly.
Reacting to the announcements, the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) described itself as “dazed and confused”.
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