Everything you need to know about the single-use plastic ban

What’s the single-use plastic ban?

The UK government has banned single-use plastic items, such as plates and cups, in England. The Financial Times reports Environmental Secretary Thérèse Coffey’s plans to phase out single-use plastic items and replace them with more sustainable alternatives, including reusable packaging such as our Tamper Evident containers and Top-Seal trays.

What one-time-use plastic products are banned?

Many people assume the ban on single-use plastic packaging applies to all plastic products, but this is incorrect. The ban currently only applies to single-use items, such as one-time-use plastic utensils, plates, cups, bowls, and containers commonly used by fast food outlets and Takeaways.

The specific items include:

  • cutlery
  • plates
  • stirrers
  • drinking straws
  • expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene fast-food containers
  • expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene cups
  • polystyrene lids for all cups and fast-food containers
  • thin plastic single-use carrier bags
  • all products made of oxo-degradable plastic

In October, the ban on these specific single-use plastic items will take effect in England, and the public will no longer be able to purchase the specified products.

As the ban applies to single-use plastic packaging, it does not affect the use of plates, bowls, and trays in pre-packaged shelf-ready food items. These items are included in future plans for a producer responsibility scheme aiming to encourage producers to use recycled materials.

Are their alternatives to single-use packaging available?

Systempak offers more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. Our products are 100% recyclable, providing a safe and effective packaging solution in line with government requirements. All of Systempak’s products are free of Bisphenol A (BPA), including plastic tamper-proof containers, ready-meal containers and regular plastic containers.

Our EcoPAK range is fully compostable, providing a more eco-friendly packaging solution. Our range includes oven-safe cardboard top seal trays lined with PLA, which are dual oven-able and freezer safe!

We design the packaging of our plastic products to be reused or recycled in household recycling and use both post-consumer and recycled materials in our packaging.


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