Environment | UK Regulatory Outlook June 2023
Published on 28th Jun 2023
Draft regulations laid ahead of further single-use plastic bans in England | Biodiversity net gain: Current status, market insights and natural capital solutions | Deforestation regulation published in the Official Journal of EU
Draft regulations laid ahead of further single-use plastic bans in England
The draft regulations introducing the ban for some single use plastic items in England from October 2023 (see our January Regulatory Outlook) have been laid in Parliament. The regulations introduce the ban on the supply of single-use plastic:
- Cutlery, balloon sticks, and expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene food and drinks containers (including cups).
- Plates, trays and bowls to the end user. The ban does not apply to the supply of a single-use plastic plate, tray or bowl that is packaging (as defined in regulation 3 of the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1640)). For example, the ban will include a bowl pre-filled with food before sale or a bowl filled with food at the counter of a takeaway. This is to avoid confusion with the extended producer responsibility for packaging scheme due in 2024.
The ban will be enforced through the civil sanction of a fixed monetary penalty, but failure to comply with civil sanctions may result in a criminal offence and prosecution. The regulations also provide for the publication of information on enforcement action taken by regulators. See also the recent government guidance published on the upcoming ban.
In Wales, the Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill 2022 received Royal Assent on 6 June 2023. This new legislation makes it a criminal offence to supply or offer to supply (including for free) specific single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales, including plastic plates and cutlery, polystyrene lids for cups and takeaway food containers and cups made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene. These new obligations will come into force via a phased in approach from autumn 2023.
Biodiversity net gain: Current status, market insights and natural capital solutions
On 5 July, Osborne Clarke will be hosting a webinar on the topic of biodiversity net gain. We will discuss the current status of the net gain requirements and the principles for delivery being consulted on in connection with the Environment Act 2021. We will also look at what we have been seeing in the market as developers ramp up for compliance, and we will take you through some of the natural capital marketplace solutions that we have been advising on, along with other strategies to meet biodiversity net gain obligations. Register here.
Deforestation regulation published in the Official Journal of EU
Please see ESG.
European Parliament adopts its position on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive
Please see ESG.