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Plastic Ban 2023 Introduction

Last month the government gave us the news that a number of Single use plastic items will be banned from distribution in October 2023. The ban was put forward by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and they said that 95% of people responded in favour of the ban. The goal of the ban is to further reduce the plastic pollution in the UK. That's all well and good in theory, but what are the real implications of this ban? And more importantly, how will it affect your business? Our aim is to help separate the facts from fiction and shine a brighter light on where this new ban will lead us and try and bring some clarity.

What Does It Mean?

The new plastic ban means that businesses up and down the country will have to change their approach to how they serve food and beverages, with many packaging mainstays in the take-out industry coming under fire for being environmentally unfriendly. This potentially could include plastic plates, trays and bowls along with most polystyrene containers and cups. (This ban does not apply to plates, trays and bowls in shelf-ready pre-packaged food.)

It now means that companies will be having to switch to alternative packaging solutions, which are more eco-friendly and have higher recyclability. This could for example include product such as paper or wooden cutlery, bagasse and cardboard containers and much more.

Man confused about the plastic ban

Product Categories under consideration to be Banned

  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic bowls
  • Plastic trays
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Balloon sticks
  • Polystyrene Cups
  • Polystyrene food containers

How Are Businesses Affected?

Businesses have been used to paying low prices for single use items, as they are low cost to manufacture. With the new ban taking place, the prices people pay for packaging will be increasing. Eco-friendly ranges are continually evolving, with manufacturers exploring new ways to bring down the production costs, but there is still a way to go. To find alternate solutions with the same practicality at lower price points is difficult, but we have already started offering our customers eco-friendly solutions.

Plastic Ban context

Along with the costs of upgrading to sustainable cutlery and plates, there is still a growing concern over other plastics being used in the catering space which still contribute to the growing problems. The anti-plastic campaign group ‘A Plastic Planet’, has noted that the plastic sachet should be the next target, as over 855 billion sachets are used annually across the world. They went on to say that creating a solution for the sachet crisis will provide more innovation and opportunity in the packing market.

There are also the detractors who argue that changing from Single use plastic to wood and paper alternatives will bear no impact so long as people ignore recycling regulations, as cutlery and plates will still end up in landfill sites and into the ocean. Recycling only works when consumers follow guidelines, and the lack of education in this sector is telling when you see how much packaging ends up in treatment centres but cannot be reused or recycled.

Current advice is to follow UK government guidelines on recycling and implementing more eco-friendly practices into your business as soon as possible. With a transition into the new eco-friendly landscape, you can adjust to new pricing models, and do your bit to protect the planet.

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Select Catering Solutions Ltd
Unit A1, Airfield Business Park
Market Harborough
United Kingdom LE16 7UL

01858 469006

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