Go to content

Single use plastics ban

Members in England have contacted us due to concerns about the ban on single use plastic items which is coming into effect on 1 October 2023.

We have written to the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs to confirm that this ban will not affect dentists, as the new regulations refer exclusively to the sale of plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery and balloon sticks to members of the public.

In our letter, we also asked about single use mouth rinsing cups which in some cases are made from polystyrene. To our knowledge, this ban does not affect these as the regulations specifically mention food and drink containers and, in our view, liquids used for mouthwash or swilling do not fit this description.

If you have a water dispenser for patient use in the waiting room which uses polystyrene cups, these will be affected. Although the cups are not sold, the new guidance adds the word supply to the ban. Any other plastic cups, however, are not banned.

We are currently awaiting further clarification on this ban from the Government and will keep you up to date once we know more.