Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist Tim Scott
Businesses in the North West are 'well prepared' for the ban on most single use plastics when it comes into force at the start of October.
The ban will include the use of plastic plates, cutlery, single-use plastic bowls, trays and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers sold from retailers, takeaways or food vendors.
The move will not apply to plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in what the government called “shelf-ready pre-packaged food items”.
Using new legislation, it is expected the ban will be enforced through civil sanctions – but there is a possibility of repeated breaches resulting in a criminal offence.
Figures suggest that every year England uses about 1.1bn single-use plates and 4.25bn pieces of such cutlery, only 10% of which are recycled after being used.
Plastic items relating to takeaway food and drink, including food containers and cutlery, make up the largest share of litter in the world’s oceans.
Harry Stephenson from Stephensons Catering Equipment says most businesses are ready for the ban to come into effect as are their customers.
He said: "There has been quite a lot of pressure for our customers to use re-suable products or single use products in some instances which are made out of paper".
Although he is concerned about some 'grey areas' where retailers may re-package some items to get around the ban.
"Polystyrene is banned outright for takeaways but if you are selling any raw meat in a butchers, the tray is still a legal product to sell".
Simon Naylor is the creative director at 53two Theatre and Bar in Manchester city centre and supports the ban for environmental reasons.
"We went single use plastic free in 2021. Currently we are living in an escalating climate crisis. The removal of plastics will help stop the pollution in the seas and global warming."
Simon hopes: "If we all do our bit and end the endless use of plastic, it can make a difference, it we all play our part."
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