UK government to consult on further plastic bans


The UK government is to consult on banning single use plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups in England this autumn, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced last week.

Further details of the consultation, including the full list of single-use items under review, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

The move will bring England in line with the European Union, as per its single use plastics directive.

As the EU’s SUP directive was not transposed into UK law before the end of the Brexit transitional period, the government in Westminster is not required to implement the directive’s requirements. This has led to fears that that single use plastic laws could differ across the UK.

This is because under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland must  by 2022 or sooner, transpose “certain articles” of the EU's SUP Directive relating to placing single-use plastic goods on the market. However, this does not extend to the rest of the UK.

In the EU, member states will have to introduce a ban on expanded polystyrene food containers and cups under the directive. This has not yet been introduced  in the UK - nor has one on single-use plastic plates and cutlery.

This consultation would look to close that gap.