Single Use Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Drink Stirrers ban

By Chris Dawson October 12, 2020 - 10:30 am

If you have stocks of straws, cotton buds or drink stirrers which are made of single use plastic then it’s time to get your stock sold. You should also ensure that you don’t replenish supplies as they are now banned by law.

If you bought single use plastic straws, cotton buds or drink stirrers before the 1st of October 2020, you can continue to supply or sell leftover supplies of single-use plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers until the first of April 2021.

Single Use Plastic Definitions

  • A straw made wholly or partly from plastic and is not designed or intended to be reused
  • A cotton bud rod made wholly or partly of plastic with cotton wrapped around one or both ends and is not designed or intended to be reused
  • A drink stirrer made partly or wholly of plastic and is designed and intended for stirring drinks

If you do not stop selling or supplying these items, you could be fined. There are some exemptions to the ban on supplying plastic straws for disabled people or those with accessibility needs and single-use plastic cotton buds, for medical or scientific reasons. Registered pharmacies can supply single-use plastic straws but can no display them or advertise them in store.

You can still supply and sell single-use straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers made from other materials and reusable alternatives. Some paper straws contain adhesives containing plastics within the inner lining of the straws. These are an acceptable alternative to plastic drinking straws.

A word of warning, After the 3rd of July 2021, you must not supply drinks products with single use plastic straws attached to the packaging. If you are in this market then watch out for wholesalers dumping stocks of drinks with straws attached as this deadline approaches – if you sell them after the 3rd of July you could be fined.

Marketplaces merchants will be impacted by this change in the law – Amazon have already posted a reminder in Seller Central to ensure sellers of single use plastic products are aware.

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