Businesses across Swindon in the county of Wiltshire are preparing for an England-wide ban on single-use plastics, which will come into force this October.

The new regulations will prohibit local businesses and venues from selling, using, and circulating certain single-use plastic items from 1 October 2023.

These items include plates, polystyrene cups, bowls, cutlery, trays, and food containers.

Once implemented, this ban is expected to have a significant impact on minimising plastic waste and littering across the country.

To prepare for this, Swindon Borough Council has begun undertaking various conscious initiatives to minimise its plastic waste and transition to environmentally friendly alternatives in its own buildings, as well as at country parks such as Lydiard Park.

All single-use cutlery used at Lydiard Park’s Forest Café will be replaced by wooden alternatives.

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Additionally, plastic takeaway salad containers used at the staff canteen of the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Cheney Manor industrial estate will be replaced by cardboard containers.

A review was conducted by the council last month to identify small changes that would be required in order to ensure full compliance with the new law.

All businesses in the borough have been advised to use up their existing stock of single-use items and find reusable alternatives for these items in the meantime.

The council confirmed that if these businesses fail to adapt to the new law from the set date, they will be fined.

Swindon Borough Council’s chair for the Net-Zero Committee and councillor Jane Milner-Barry said: “As a new administration we are committed to combatting climate change through our priority to achieve net zero, and reducing ways we hinder the environment is a key part of that work.

“Many Swindon businesses are ahead of the curve in phasing out the use of single-use plastic items like cutlery, cups and food containers, but I’d urge those that haven’t already done so to prepare now for the ban coming in from October.”