Single-Use Plastics Ban in 2023 in England

Plastic pollution in our oceans has been in all the headlines recently, so much so that the UK government is introducing a single-use plastics ban in England from October 2023.

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

The Banned Items

The list of items to be banned includes plates, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers. However, the ban will not apply to plates, trays, and bowls that are used as packaging in shelf-ready, pre-packaged food items, such as salad bowls. 

Retailers and hospitality venues will need to source bio-degradable alternatives such as paper cups and wooden cutlery, or reusable items such as steel cutlery and ceramic plates. It will be very challenging as plastic is an ideal product for liquids. 

The government had already put restrictions on the supply of single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds in 2020 as well as introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022 – a tax of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. 

This will have a major effect on the hospitality industry which is still struggling to recover from the lockdowns over the past three years. The single-use plastic ban follows the passing of the Environment Act 2021, arguably the most wide-ranging piece of environmental legislation ever introduced in the UK. The new law includes provisions which will force the separate collection of food waste, the banning of macerating food waste disposers and liquidizing digesters (waste-to-water machines) likely also to start later in 2023.

Hospitality Environmental Priorities

Increasingly, all hospitality venues are having to look very closely at their green credentials. And it is not just a matter of complying with legislation, with a growing number of customers making their brand choices based on environmental matters, advertising good practices is attracting market share.

For some hotels, the transition is well under way and adopting sustainable practices is in their brand DNA. For example, Fairmont Hotels have heat recycling systems and green roofs. Hilton Hotels and Resorts is prioritizing recycling and waste reduction by making small but significant changes which can be adopted by other smaller hoteliers. Hilton recycles mattresses and partially used soap and donates to local food banks to minimize food waste as well as installing food waste drying equipment to reduce the cost of food waste disposal.

For more information about how Bergmann Direct can help your hotel, restaurant or hospitality venue improve its recycling and reduce waste disposal costs contact us here, email us at info@bergmanndirect.co.uk or call on 01522 692888.