Getting food from takeaways across England will look different next month as a major rule change comes into force on October 1.

From that date, the use of single-use plastics will be clamped down on in England, with bans coming in on items including polystyrene cups, cutlery, and more.

Failure to comply with the new bans could see businesses fined.

The government has advised businesses to use up all their existing stock of single-use plastics ahead of October 1 in order to prepare for the ban.

There will also be new restrictions on the supply of single-use plastic trays and bowls to members of the public, although businesses can continue to supply these items if they are used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items.

These are the exemptions to the new plastic tray and bowl rules, according to Government guidance:

You can still supply single-use plastic plates, bowls and trays if either of the following apply:

  • you are supplying them to another business
  • the items are packaging (pre-filled or filled at the point of sale)

Examples of this type of packaging include:

  • a pre-filled salad bowl or ready meal packaged in a tray
  • a plate filled at the counter of a takeaway
  • a tray used to deliver food

The Government warns: Local authorities will carry out inspections to make sure the rules are being followed.

“Inspectors can:

  • visit a shop or store
  • make test purchases
  • speak to staff
  • ask to see records

“If you break the law, inspectors can order your business to cover the cost of the investigation.

“Complaints about a business breaking the law can be made to Trading Standards.

“You can appeal within 28 days of getting a fine if you think something is wrong. A letter with the fine will tell you what to do.

“If you can show that you did everything you reasonably could to avoid breaking any rules, this would be an acceptable defence.”