Residents and businesses in Bath and North East Somerset are being reminded about a ban on commonly littered single-use plastics which comes into force on October 1.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is welcoming the Government ban on a wide range of items including plastic cutlery, plates, balloon sticks and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers commonly used for takeaways.
From October, residents should no longer be supplied with these products by retailers, food vendors or any hospitality company. Businesses are advised to think about sourcing alternatives if they haven’t already done so.
The ban follows on from the effective banning of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in October 2020.
It is hoped the move will encourage UK businesses to invest in environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic and raise awareness of the environmental harm plastic plates and cutlery can cause when they are not correctly disposed of.
Plastic can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, damaging habitats and endangering wildlife. It will eventually break down into microplastics that end up in soil, the seas and enter the human food chain.
It is estimated that England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery each year, and 721 million single-use plates. Only 10% of these items are recycled.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Not only do single-use plastic items spoil everyone’s enjoyment of our neighbourhoods and open spaces if littered, they also inflict serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is unsustainable for them to continue to be used and businesses must move to sourcing items made of more environmentally friendly materials that have a lower environmental impact.
“We welcome this ban and would encourage businesses to make sure they are prepared to use more sustainable alternatives from October.”
- Swap plastic for bamboo or wooden cutlery for takeaway food
- Swap plastic for metal cutlery for in-house guests
- Swap single-use plastic plates or bowls to reusable alternatives that can be washed
- Offer paper plates instead of plastic
- Offer to refill customers’ water bottles or travel cups
- Encourage customers to bring their own containers for takeaway food
Further information for businesses on Government guidance on how to prepare for the ban