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Knowledge & Insights

Single-Use Plastics Ban: Are You Ready?

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Outsourced Events

The upcoming ban applies to England only. It includes:

  • Polystyrene cups and food containers
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use balloon sticks

There will also be a restriction to the supply of single-use plastic trays and bowls to members of the public, although businesses can continue to supply these items if they are used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items.

How to prepare for the single-use plastics ban

Businesses will need to use up existing stock and find alternative substitutes or reuse solutions by 1 October 2023. 

This ban complements the existing restrictions on other single-use plastic items including plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers and the carrier bag charge

Why are single-use plastics being banned? 

The events industry has been exploring sustainable and green alternatives for some time now. Single-use plastics have damaging environmental impacts as they are commonly littered and are difficult to recycle. These impacts need to be managed so that we can protect our environment. 

Damaging environmental impacts 

Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage on the environment. It is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed of. 

Unnecessary littering

Every year England uses around 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates, but only 10% are recycled.


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.

FAQs and full details of restrictions and exemptions can be found on the UK Government website.

Poster explaining the single-use plastics ban

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