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04/03/2020:Draft legislation to ban the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

Draft regulations have been has been laid in Parliament providing for a ban on the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in England (the draft Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020).

Following a public consultation in Autumn 2018, the Government confirmed in May 2019 that it would implement a ban with certain exceptions to ensure that those with medical needs or a disability are able to access plastic straws. The Regulations prohibit persons from supplying or offering to supply certain plastic items in the course of a business. The prohibitions apply from the day after the coming into force of these Regulations, except for the prohibition of the supply of drinks products with single-use plastic straws attached to their packaging, which applies from 3rd July 2021. Products affected are:

*          single-use plastic straws to an end user, subject to certain exceptions including the supply of straws by registered pharmacies, the supply of straws by a catering establishment together with food or drink for immediate consumption, and the supply of straws which are medical devices or are for use for medical purposes.

*          drinks products with single-use plastic straws attached to their packaging, subject to an exception for medical purposes.

*          single-use plastic stemmed cotton buds to an end user, other than for medical, forensic or scientific purposes.

*          plastic drink stirrers.

Breach of these prohibitions is an offence. However by a transitional provision, the continued supply of existing stock until 31st October 2020 will not be an offence if the stock was obtained on or before 30th April 2020. There is a due diligence defence for suppliers. There is provision for local authorities to impose civil penalties for breach of the regulations.

 

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