UK Government Plastic Ban 2023

The UK government plastic ban refers to recently introduced legislation banning single-use plastics from use in the UK. This legislation will come into effect from October 2023 and will impact a range of goods and services providers. This is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the plastic waste generated in the UK.

UK Government Plastic Ban 2023 – What You Need To Know

History of UK Government Plastic Bans

Increasing attention has been paid to the issue of plastic pollution globally in the last decade. With a growing awareness of the negative impacts of single-use plastics on the environment, the UK government has introduced a number of pieces of legislation. In 2015 The Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order was introduced to make charging for plastic carrier bags mandatory in England. This followed similar legislation already introduced in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Then, in 2021, the minimum charge was increased from 5p to 10p. As a result of the success of the initiative there has been a 95% drop in the use of single-use carrier bags.

Plastic bags have not been the only target of legislation. In July 2021 the government also introduced a ban on plastic straws, leading to the widespread adoption of bamboo and metal straws. At Taipec we have introduced a successful range of Bamboo straws.

Plastic Ban – 2023

Following on from the impact of previous bans on single-use plastic, the government has introduced The Environmental Protection (Plastic Plates etc. and
Polystyrene Containers etc.) (England) Regulations 2023. This aims to further curb the use of plastic in everyday life. This legislation is part of a broader effort to introduce circular economy principles and minimise the environmental damage of plastics in the UK. So, what is included in the ban?

UK Government Plastic Ban – What Is Included?

This law is primarily targeting:

  • Plastic plates and cutlery.
  • Plastic balloon sticks.
  • Expanded and extruded polystyrene (food containers and cups).

This law will come in to force in October 2023 and will allow businesses to make the transition over the next 9 months and avoid disruption. The ban on food and drink containers will only apply to takeaways and not to shelf-ready pre-packed items and raw meat. While this may seem odd, the law has been designed this way to avoid duplicating other legislation.

UK Government Plastic Ban – What Is Not Included?

As stated above, this law is targeting single-use plastics designed for ready to eat food and so it does not apply to shelf-packed items. There are also no exemptions to the ban. This is outlined in the government's response to the consultation carrier out. This lack of exemptions explicitly covers medical reasons and so this is a wide-reaching law with huge potential impacts for the services industry.

What Is Next

In the next Taipec Blogs we will explore how this law may impact bubble tea shops and whether PP or PETG cups will be impacted. We will also explore what the future holds for single-use plastic like boba cups and what the alternatives may be.

What Does Taipec Offer?

Here at Taipec we are passionate about bubble tea. It's why we do what we do. And we love being able to help you share your passion for bubble tea with your customers. This is why we supply a wide range of bubble tea products. From ingredients and consumables to equipment and training, Taipec is the number 1 bubble tea supplier in the UK. Interested? Get in touch today. Interested in starting your own bubble tea store? We have you covered, get in touch today!