New ban on single use plastics

3 October 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

A new national business ban on single use plastics is now in place as part of a bid to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste going to landfill.

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New ban on single use plastics

The new restrictions are focused on takeaways, sandwich bars, care homes and retailers who supply certain single use plastic items, and covers single use plastics, also known as disposable plastics.

Deputy leader Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, said: “This is a valuable effort to reduce unnecessary waste that is harmful to our environment. It supports the ambition in our Borough Plan for Lambeth to be a clean, vibrant and climate resilient borough by 2030.”

It is estimated that 2.7 billion single use cutlery items and 721 million single use plates are thrown away every year in England. This waste is not biodegradable and ends up in landfill, so the ban has been introduced as a measure to reduce the release of associated toxins in the ground, water and air, protecting our health, the environment and wildlife.

For more details of the new rules visit –

The ban includes all single use plastic cutlery, trays, plates, bowls, and balloon sticks, as well as banning the use of certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers used to supply food which is ready to consume. Businesses should consider:

  • Offering paper plates instead of plastic.
  • Swapping plastic for bamboo or wooden cutlery for takeaway food
  • Swapping plastic for metal cutlery for inhouse guests
  • Swapping single use plastic plates or bowls to re-usable alternatives that can be washed.
  • Offering to refill customers’ water bottles or travel cups.
  • Encouraging customers to bring their own clean containers for takeaway food.

Under the new national rules any business found to be breaching the regulation can be handed warnings and fines.