A BAN on single-use plastics has come into effect.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s public protection officers have issued a reminder that businesses will no longer be able to supply certain single-use plastic items.
Takeaways, sandwich bars, care homes and retailers will therefore have to change the way they work.
Councillor Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Certain plastic items, such as straws, stirrers and cotton buds, have already been banned.
“Businesses who continue to supply banned single-use plastic items after the legislation comes into effect could face a fine or prosecution.
“This will be enforced by the Council.”
The ban came into effect on Sunday (October 1).
It means businesses can no longer use plastic plates, bowls and trays.
This affects both online and over-the-counter sales, but there is some exceptions.
Businesses that are supplying them to other can continue to do so and packaging which is prefilled or filled at the point of sale can still be sold, such as salad bowls.
Plastic cutlery and balloon sticks are also banned, with no exceptions.
The ban also means that plastic polystyrene food and drink containers are banned, unless the contents need further preparation before consumption.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey announced the ban back in January as part of efforts to reduce the amount of non-recyclable material ending up in bins and then going to landfill or incineration.
Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down, inflicting damage on our oceans, rivers and land.
It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, both from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has offered some ways businesses could go about coping with the ban:
Swap plastic for bamboo or wooden cutlery for takeaway food
Swap plastic for metal cutlery for in-house guests
Swap single use plastic plates or bowls to re-usable alternatives that can be washed
Offer paper plates instead of plastic
Offer to refill customers’ water bottles or travel cups
Encourage customers to bring their own clean containers for takeaway food.