Ban on single-use plastic now in place

Sandwell Council is reminding businesses in the borough that since 1 October they are no longer allowed to supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items.

The ban covers a wide range of single-use items including plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, balloon sticks and certain styles of polystyrene cup and food containers that are used to supply ready-to-eat food.

Sandwell Council Trading Standards is advising businesses, such as sandwich shops, takeaways and other retailers, to think about sourcing alternatives if they haven’t already done so, as they risk being fined if they use the banned items.

This initiative aims to drastically reduce the country's plastic footprint, which has been a longstanding concern for environmentalists and policymakers alike. It is estimated that England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery each year, and 721 million single-use plates. Only 10 per cent of these items are recycled.

Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed. Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, Councillor Syeda Khatun, said:

‘‘This measure aligns with England's commitment to achieve a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. By prohibiting the sale and distribution of single-use plastics.

"The the adoption of reusable and biodegradable alternatives is being encouraged. Retailers and businesses are expected to play a pivotal role in this transition by offering sustainable options to their customers.’’
 
Guidance for businesses on these regulations which can be accessed online.

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