Update: Council reminding public and business about the ban on single-use plastics

Banned single-use items
Banned single-use items

Highland Council is reminding members of the public and businesses that a ban on single use plastics came into effect on 1 June 2022.

Scotland is the first UK nation to pursue a ban on single-use plastics, which represent some of the world’s most environmentally damaging items.

After this date, the single-use plastics listed below are banned unless an exemption applies.

Leader of Highland Council, Cllr Raymond Bremner, said: “The Highland Council is committed to support the ban on single use plastics (SUPs).

“In 2018, a Single Use Plastic Strategy and Action Plan was developed to ensure the organisation works towards phasing out SUPs from its sites and schools.

“SUPs are an increasingly important issue due to their detrimental effect on our environment and wildlife. This ban is a key step forward for protecting our beautiful landscape in Scotland and in our overall journey to net zero.”

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 has been working in partnership with Scottish Government to provide resources to businesses and consumers to help them adapt to the new legislation. More information about single-use plastic straw and balloon stick exemptions can be found here.

Businesses affected by the changes had time to prepare for the new laws coming into force and were encouraged to think about managing stock levels of the banned items, in order to avoid waste.

Businesses were encouraged to be proactive and start shifting to alternatives (such as reusable items) so their single-use plastics stock was used up when regulations came into force on 1 June 2022.

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

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

Businesses are encouraged to make more sustainable choices and move away from single-use plastics. Information on that can be found here.

For further information visit this link.


‘The Council publicised the legislation to encourage businesses to comply from 1 June 2022. The legal implementation of the single use plastic legislation had been delayed due to the Internal Market Act. It is hoped the regulations will be self-policing and there will be no need to use the powers of the regulations. The Council will not be considering formal enforcement options until the exclusion from the Internal Market Act is applied.

Updates regarding enforcement and on how to report any compliance issues will follow. This will provide contact information on the two teams involved: Environmental Health will lead on any queries/complaints related to food premises and Trading Standards will lead on any queries/complaints related to wholesale/non-food retail.’

Environmental Health Web Page: https://www.highland.gov.uk/homepage/38/environmental_health

24 Jun 2022