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Business Guidance - England Guidelines for ban on stirrers, straws etc.

Business Guidance – England Guidelines for ban on stirrers, straws etc.

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Business guidance – BAN FROM OCTOBER 2020

Straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers ban: businesses’ responsibilities

When you must stop supplying single-use plastic straws, cotton buds, and drink
stirrers, and exemptions to the ban.

 

 

 

Contents
● Single-use plastic straws exemptions from the ban
● Plastic cotton bud exemptions from the ban
● Getting inspected
● If you don’t comply
● Appeals and objections

From 1 October, you must not supply or sell single-use plastic:
● straws and cotton buds to end-users in England (you can continue to supply
single-use plastic straws and cotton buds to other businesses)
● drink stirrers to end-users and businesses in England
The ban applies to all businesses that supply these products, including
manufacturers and retailers.
If you don’t stop selling or supplying these items, you could be fined. Your local
authority will set the fine.
If you bought them before 1 October, you can continue to supply or sell:
● leftover supplies of single-use plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers
until 1 April 2021
If you bought them after 1 October 2020, you must not supply:
● plastic straws or cotton buds to any customers
● drink stirrers to any customers

After 3 July 2021, you must not supply:
 drinks products with single-use plastic straws attached to the packaging
A single-use plastic:
● straw is made wholly or partly from plastic and is not designed or intended to
be reused
● cotton bud is a rod made wholly or partly of plastic with cotton wrapped
around one or both ends and is not designed or intended to be reused
● drink stirrer is made partly or wholly of plastic and is designed and intended
for stirring drinks

Alternatives to single-use plastic
You can still supply and sell:
● single-use straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers made from other materials
● reusable alternatives

Some paper straws contain adhesives containing plastics within the inner lining of
the straws. These are an acceptable alternative to plastic drinking straws.

Exemptions to the ban on single-use plastic straws
There are some exemptions to the ban on supplying plastic straws. This is so that disabled
people or those with accessibility needs can still use them.
Exemption: registered pharmacies
Registered pharmacies can supply single-use plastic straws. Pharmacies must not:
● display straws to customers
● advertise single-use plastic straws to customers in store – pharmacies can
advertise them online

Exemption: catering establishments
Catering establishments can supply single-use plastic straws with food and drink for
immediate consumption, but must:
● keep straws where customers cannot see them or help themselves to them
● only give straws to customers that request them
● not offer them to customers either verbally or in writing
A catering establishment means a restaurant, canteen, club, public house or similar
establishment (including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall) which supplies food or
drink that is ready for consumption without further preparation.

Exemption: medical devices and purposes
You can supply single-use plastic straws for use as a medical device or for medical
purposes, including preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, medical research and
to provide medical care and treatment.

Exemption: packaging
You can supply single-use plastic straws that are used as packaging, for example
with a medicine that is dispensed through a straw.

Exemption: care homes, prisons, schools and early years providers
You can supply single-use plastic straws in:
● care homes
● premises used for early years provision
● schools
● prisons or other places of detention
Where possible, these establishments should find alternatives to single-use plastic
straws.

Exemptions to the ban on single-use plastic cotton buds
There are some exemptions to the ban on supplying single-use plastic cotton buds, for
medical or scientific reasons.

Exemption: medical devices and purposes
You can supply single-use plastic cotton buds for use as medical devices or for
medical purposes, including preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, medical
research and to provide medical care and treatment.

Exemption: forensic purposes
You can supply single-use plastic cotton buds to forensic service providers.

Exemption: scientific purposes
You can supply single-use plastic cotton buds for scientific purposes, including
diagnostic, educational or research purposes.

Getting inspected
Your local authority will inspect you to check you are following the law. Inspectors
can:
● visit your shop or store
● make test purchases
● speak to staff
● demand records
Inspectors can order you to cover the cost of the investigation if you break the law.
If you don’t comply with the ban
Your local authority must publish details of fine levels, and when it will impose them,
on its website.

Appeals and objections
You can object within 28 days of receiving a fine. The fine or letter will tell you how to
do so.
You can appeal a penalty if you feel your:
● fine was wrong, unreasonable or based on an error
● non-monetary requirement is unreasonable
● variable amount penalty is too high

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/straws-cotton-buds-and-drink-stirrers-ban-rules-for-businesses-in-england

 

 

Thank you to Adrian Pratt of Benders Paper Cups for highlighting the above information.

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