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Chilly’s Chilly’s
Mar 4, 2024
The Single-Use Cutlery Ban in England.

The Single-Use Cutlery Ban in England has finally come into force. Here’s what you need to know.

2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery are used in England every year. If we were to line up all of these pieces of cutlery, they would encircle our planet over eight and a half times (based on a 15cm piece of cutlery). On top of that, 721 million single-use plates are also used per year. Of these plates and cutlery only 10% of these are being recycled.
This is a huge problem. But thankfully, the government has listened and taken action.
On the 1st October 2023, England’s plastic ban came into place. It covers single-use cutlery, takeaway plates, and particularly polystyrene containers - but what does this really mean?

What does this actually mean?

You might recall back in 2020, England also banned straws and coffee stirrers - the latest law to be introduced is an extension from this, adding more single-use plastic items to the banned list.
From the 1st October 2023, no business will be able to sell: single-use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks nor polystyrene cups/food containers in England. This will impact retailers, takeaways, food vendors, and the hospitality sector given the significant historical use of those items within these spaces.
The use of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls has also been restricted, but can still be used in takeaways and in pre-packed food.

Why is this important?

The vast numbers of single use cutlery and plates used in the UK each year says it all. Chilly’s has been working to change the single-use culture in the UK from day one. Something our charity partner City to Sea, who we have donated nearly £700,000 to, has also pioneered.
In 2021, City to Sea ran a petition calling for the government to ban some of the most polluting single-use items including cutlery, plates and polystyrene food containers. It has since reached over 118,000 signatures and as a result a consultation was launched that led to the ultimate banning of these items.
Two years on from launching the petition, we now have that ban in place showing the impact our efforts can have.

What next?

Although this ban is a good step, we firmly believe that reuse is the best way to go forward. Our mission at Chilly’s is to accelerate the adoption and everyday use of reusable products. As a community, we have grown and shown that we can make change and reduce our impacts through the use of reusables.
This year, Chilly’s launched its first cutlery set. The ambition is to enable our community to eat on the go without relying on single-use cutlery of any kind, which we aim to achieve through product innovation. We believe that we need to do our part in going beyond the ban and prevent the use of all forms of single-use.

How can you play a part?

  • Reuse: Cultivate the habit of carrying your reusables.Take your own reusable cutlery and cups with you if you know you’ll be eating on the go. We recently launched the Chilly’s cutlery set, a 4-piece full size cutlery for food on-the-go. Check it out here.

  • Say no to unnecessary packaging: take only what you need, from napkins to sauces and cutlery. By reducing your use, you’ll reduce the impact.

  • Raise awareness: although this ban came into place on the 1st October 2023, the BBC found that some who are impacted are not aware. If you’re at an event, street market or at a takeaway and see these banned items being used - have a chat with them to see if they are aware of the ban. Raising awareness of it will hopefully ensure we can phase out these items completely.

We have a mountain to climb to tackle the enormity of the single-use plastic crisis. But this ban is a step in the right direction. Keep calling for change and together our voices can make a difference.
To stay up to date with all the latest plastics news and plastic-free living tips, sign up to our charity partner’s - City to Sea - monthly Plastic Free Journal


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