New law on single-use plastics
A new policy to restrict the availability of single-use plastic, such as plastic straws, plastic plates, and plastic cutlery, will be in place from June 2022.
When the regulations come into force on 1 June 2022, the following items will be banned unless an exemption applies:
- single-use expanded polystyrene beverage cups including their covers and lids;
- single-use expanded polystyrene beverage containers including their caps and lids
- single-use expanded polystyrene food containers;
- single-use plastic cutlery including forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks;
- single-use plastic plates; and
- single-use plastic beverage stirrers.
The following will also be banned:
- single-use plastic straws (where the straws are supplied to an end-user); and
- single-use plastic balloon sticks.
At the end of 2020, we invited our members to have their say on how the proposed ban would affect disabled people and we’re glad to see their concerns about banning single-use plastic straws reflected in the policy.
Single-use plastic straw exemption
A critical exemption is applied to single-use plastic straws, to ensure those who need them to eat or drink independently or for medical purposes can still get access to them.
This means that single-use plastic straws are to be available to purchase at in-store or online pharmacies and given on request in hospitality venues.
They are also to be available for those who need them in a small number of other places such as hospitals, care homes, schools, early learning/childcare premises and prisons. Furthermore single-use plastic straws can be supplied where they are a medical device, used for medical purposes, used as packaging or by any person providing personal care or support.