September 14, 2023  /  Blog


You may have heard that, from next month (October), the government has imposed a ban on a number of single-use plastic items.

Previous phases of the ban, which is designed to cut plastic waste, targeted plastic straws, which have since been replaced in most venues by cardboard. It was also behind the charge on carrier bags in a bid to cut down on how many of these were being given for free.

While cutting plastic waste is no doubt a good thing, we know that many of our customers will be concerned about the ban’s implementation, so this blog should tell you all you need to know.

What does the ban cover?
Coming into force on October 1st, 2023, the ban on single-use plastic will include:
• online and over-the-counter sales and supply
• items from new and existing stock
• all types of single-use plastic, including biodegradable, compostable and recycled
• items wholly or partly made from plastic, including coating or lining

This covers items such as plates, bowls and trays, cutlery and balloon sticks, and polystyrene food and drink containers that many of our customers may use in their chippies.

Are there any exemptions?
Yes. For plates, bowls and trays, single-use plastic is still allowed if is being supplied to another business, or if the items are packaging i.e., pre-filled or filled at the point of sale. For polystyrene, the ban does not cover their use if the product needs further preparation before it is consumed, such as adding water or microwaving.

There are no exemptions to the ban on plastic cutlery or balloon sticks.

What are the penalties?
Local authorities will have powers to carry out inspections to make sure the rules are being followed and, if you’re found to break the law, they can order your business to cover the cost of the investigation.

Complaints about a business breaking the law can also be made to Trading Standards.

If you do receive a fine, you have up to 28 days to appeal if you think something is wrong.

How will it affect me?
Many of our clients are takeaways and cafes, and so we understand that this ban could feel like a major blow. However, there are a number of alternatives available, and there is still time to run down existing stock so it’s not wasted.

Many fish and chip shops have been using wooden forks for years – it’s part of the charm – and we could also see a return to the classic way of wrapping in paper.

However, for those establishments where this is not an option, cardboard, foil and other reusable, compostable and biodegradable alternative solutions are available.

To further cut down on waste, you could implement a reward scheme. Coffee shops have been doing this for a while now but, if practical, offer customers a discount if they bring their own cup or plastic container.

While any new way of operating takes some getting used to, the environment is everyone’s business and the shift will soon become a way of life.

If you have any questions on the ban, or would like more information on how it might affect your business, head to Single-use plastics ban: plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery and balloon sticks – GOV.UK ( to learn all about the changes.

Collins Seafoods
Collins Seafoods

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Unit 2, Felnex Crescent, Cross Green Industrial Estate, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS9 0SN

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