Breaking News for e-commerce entrepreneurs: UK announces ban on single-use plastics from 1st October 2023

In a significant development for e-commerce entrepreneurs selling goods in the United Kingdom, the government has announced a comprehensive ban on single-use plastics, encompassing plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery, and balloon sticks.

This move aims to further combat plastic pollution and promote sustainability, aligning with the global effort to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastics.

The key takeaways of the single-use plastics ban:

Ban on single-use plastics:

The UK government has officially prohibited the sale and distribution of single-use plastics for plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery, and balloon sticks. This ban takes effect from the 1st October 2023.

Environmental commitment:

This decision underscores the UK’s commitment to reducing plastic waste and minimizing its adverse effects on the environment. By eliminating these single-use plastic items, the government aims to encourage sustainable alternatives and practices.

Implications for e-commerce entrepreneurs:

E-commerce businesses that sell or distribute these banned items must adapt to the new regulations before the 1st October 2023. This may involve revising product offerings, sourcing alternative materials, or exploring eco-friendly packaging options.

Fines and penalties:

The government has outlined strict penalties for non-compliance with these regulations. E-commerce entrepreneurs are urged to familiarise themselves with the guidelines to avoid fines and legal action.

Sustainable practices:

This ban aligns with the broader global trend towards sustainability and the EPR regulations that have come into force in a number of European countries, most notably France, Germany, Spain and Austria.
E-commerce entrepreneurs should consider this an opportunity to embrace eco-friendly practices, which can not only ensure compliance but also attract environmentally conscious consumers.

Appealing a Fine:

If your business faces a fine related to this ban, you have the option to appeal. Detailed information on the appeals process can be found on the UK government’s official website here.

What e-commerce entrepreneurs should do now:

1. Assess Your Product Line:

Review your inventory to identify any single-use plastic items subject to the ban. Plan to phase out these products and replace them with sustainable alternatives before the 1st October 2023 deadline.

2. Check Your Supply Chain:

Ensure that your suppliers are also compliant with these regulations and can provide eco-friendly alternatives.

3. Update Marketing and Packaging:

Modify your product descriptions and packaging to reflect your commitment to sustainability. This can be a selling point for environmentally conscious consumers.

4. Stay Informed:

Keep a close watch on developments related to the ban and any updates to regulations. Compliance is essential to avoid fines and legal repercussions.

You can keep up-to-date with any future updates through our Compliance Wiki.

5. Appeal Process:

Familiarise yourself with the procedure for appealing fines if you believe you’ve been wrongly penalised.

The UK’s ban on single-use plastics is a significant step towards a greener future. e-commerce entrepreneurs have an opportunity to lead the way in sustainable practices and contribute to the global effort to reduce plastic pollution. Adapting to these changes now will not only ensure compliance but also demonstrate your commitment to environmental responsibility.

For more details and guidance on the ban, contact your dedicated AVASK account manager, email: enquiries@avaskgroup.com or telephone is at: +44 (0)23 8060 0120 or +1 (914) 664 1900.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with legal experts or relevant authorities for specific guidance related to your business.

Everything you need to know about EPR

If you or your business are selling goods in France or Germany, then the 1st of January 2022 is a significant date. New EPR legislation comes into effect that requires Producers to register and file EPR returns, and for online marketplaces to collect and validate your EPR registration numbers and comply with new local requirements.

While much is still unravelling, we have put together the following blog about this environmental policy and how it affects you and your business:

What is EPR?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility and although it is a new thing for Amazon and AVASK, it is not a new thing overall. This environmental policy originated in 1988 in Sweden, and it requires producers to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of the products that they put into the market, including their eventual disposal.

Who needs to register for EPR?

The Producer is the person or company who first places a product on the market which is subject to EPR requirements. It is currently only applicable in the German and French markets, with the view for other European countries, including the UK, to follow suit in the not-too-distant future.

You are considered a Producer:

  • if you manufacture a product*
  • if you import a product*
  • if you sell a product* and you are not established in that country.

*subject to EPR requirements in the country

If you are a Producer of products within the scope of Extended Producer Responsibility requirements, you will be obliged to provide your EPR registration number(s) to your Online Marketplace, for example Amazon or eBay.

What are the new requirements for registration?

If you are a Producer and do not have an EPR registration number(s), you are required to register to obtain one.

On the rare occasion that you are not a Producer but sell product(s) subject to Extended Producer Responsibility requirements, you need to obtain the applicable EPR registration number(s) from your upstream supplier and provide the OMP with the appropriate registration number(s) as proof of compliance.

If you are not a producer and cannot obtain the applicable EPR registration number(s) from your upstream supplier, you are required to register and provide the OMP with your EPR registration number(s).

How AVASK can help?

In line with new requirements, and the impending requirements from other countries on the horizon, AVASK have set up an EPR service which will keep you compliant, it includes:

  • Registration of EPR numbers in each necessary category and country
  • Monthly/ quarterly or annual filing and reporting in Germany and France (depending on the country and category)
  • Authorised representation for Germany or France (currently for WEEE categories)

If you have any questions about how we can help you expand your business, get in contact with us. Our team of experts can assist with Extended Producer Responsibility.