Meet the New Requirements for Single-Use Plastics

single use plastics

Comply with the new regulations for the sale and distribution of single-use plastics in UK markets.

As of October 2020, the sale of single-use plastics in the UK been heavily restricted. These products include:

  • Straws and cotton buds for end-users (you can continue to supply single-use plastic straws and cotton buds to businesses)
  • Drink stirrers for end-users and businesses

In addition, after 3 July 2021 businesses in the UK must stop supplying drink products with single-use plastic straws attached to packaging. Further restrictions are expected to extend to partyware, such as plates and cups.

All businesses, including manufacturers and retailers, must comply with these regulations. SGS can help you ensure compliance and avoid steep fines.

To learn more about our services, please call +44 (0)151 350 6666 or complete the form to contact an expert

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Examples of Restricted Items

  • A straw made wholly or partly of plastic and not designed or intended for reuse
  • A cotton bud made wholly or partly of plastic, with cotton wrapped around one or both ends, and not designed or intended for reuse
  • A drink stirrer made wholly or partly of plastic and designed for stirring drinks

Upcoming Bans and Regulations

  • April 2022: tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content
  • January 2023: new EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) system in the packaging waste regulations to replace current packaging recovery note (PRN) system
  • January 2023 : Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers to be operational across England and Wales
  • January 2023: Consistent Collections legislation, standardising waste collections across England and Wales, to be in place, with potential product labelling implications (current information can be found at the review of responses)
  • 2025: 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 2025: 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted (see producer responsibilities)
  • 2025: actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models

How SGS can help

SGS UK offers a range of testing services to help you determine whether your products contain plastics and to identify the type of plastic.

We support biodegradability, compostability and ‘plastic-free’ claims by testing against a variety of standards, including:

  • Biodegradability to ISO 14855-1/ASTM D5338
  • Compostability to EN 13432/ASTM D6400

Our extensive experience with testing food contact materials enables us to help you find suitable alternatives to single-use plastics that comply with appropriate regulations.

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