With effect from 1st October this year (2023), the following single use plastic items are to be banned under new legislation – this includes existing stock.

  • Plates
  • Trays
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Balloon sticks

This includes all types of other single-use plastics, including those that are biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.

However, there is an exception if either plates, trays or bowls are used for packaging food.  For example, if a salad is put in a plastic bowl and covered with clingfilm then sold in that format.

In addition, the ban also extends to polystyrene cups and food containers.

However, there is also an exemption if the food item in the packaging requires something done to it by the consumer, such as having hot water added (e.g. a pot noodle), microwaving or toasting.

The legislation does not extend to any other forms of plastic packaging, including plastic water cups or lids to go onto coffee cups. 

Keeping Food Hot


Polystyrene is widely used by takeaway and delivery businesses for keeping foods hot as it has very effective insulation properties and is relatively cheap.   There are a number of alternative materials available, such as expanded polypropylene or cardboard, but these tend to be costlier.

Issued by The Events Industry Forum 22/09/2023