Single-use plastics ban

Zero Waste Scotland have been working in partnership with the Scottish Government to provide resources to businesses and consumers to help them adapt to the new legislation banning specific single use plastics that comes into effect in 2022. The single-use plastics listed below will be banned unless an exemption applies.

The ban means it is unlawful to make and supply commercially any of the following single-use plastic items: 

  • cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks and other similar utensils)
  • plates
  • beverage stirrers
  • food containers made of expanded polystyrene
  • cups made of expanded polystyrene

The regulations also make it unlawful to supply commercially the items below. These items are subject to exemptions which allow them to be supplied in particular settings and circumstances:

  • plastic straws
  • plastic balloon sticks

All the restrictions apply to both online and in-store sales, whether they are free or charged for.

Zero Waste Scotland provides information about single-use plastic straw and balloon stick exemptions.

When switching to single-use plastics substitutes, businesses should consider:

  • banning single-use plastic items can be a big win for some environmental impacts, such as the marine environment.
  • simply switching to other single-use items made of alternative materials can lead to other environmental impacts.
  • how reusables could fit into their operations and where this is not possible, ensure that single-use substitutes are carefully considered.

Zero Waste Scotland provides advice to businesses to make more sustainable choices and move away from single-use plastics.


We are responsible for enforcement. In terms of any queries or complaints please refer to following:

  • Environmental Health will lead on any queries/ complaints related to food premises  - To report a concern, please select drop down Option 'Other' when reporting an Environmental Health concern
  • Trading Standards will lead on any queries/ complaints related to wholesale/ non-food retail - To report a concern, please contact Advice Direct Scotland by telephone 0808 8009060 
  • business owners should check with their Business Waste Collection Provider for advice on recycling banned Single Use Plastic using their current collection system.  Our Business Waste Collection customers can email business.waste@highland.gov.uk for advice.