A ban on some of the most commonly used single-use plastic items including cutlery, plates and straws has come into force on the Isle of Man to protect the environment.
Most plastic is produced using oil and many of the resulting items are used and discarded in seconds, but can take hundreds of years to break down, harming waterways and wildlife and are a source of preventable greenhouse gases in their construction and destruction.
The legislation positions the Isle of Man as a front runner in the fight against plastic pollution and supports the Government’s net zero commitment and Biosphere status.
Tynwald members voted unanimously to ban the sale, distribution and supply of 10 of the most commonly used SUP items which have sustainable alternatives, in October 2022.
The vote came after more than 700 people contributed to a consultation on the proposed crackdown in 2021, with nine out of 10 in favour of all proposed bans.
It means from today, shops, takeaways, food vendors and other hospitality businesses will no longer be able to sell or distribute plastic straws, carrier bags, cutlery (including chopsticks), plates, stirrers, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and polystyrene cups and containers.
Business were given 12 months to prepare and source greener alternatives, but from today DEFA will be asking any owners who still have the banned items to demonstrate their transition plan or face a fine.
Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, Political Member for the Environment, said: “This is a major milestone in our mission to ensure we have an environment to be proud of now, and in the future.
“Through the actions of government, businesses and individuals, we are transitioning away from unnecessary plastics and improving sustainability across the public and private sectors.”
Personal care products containing microbeads, balloon sticks and products made from oxo-degradable plastic, which do not decompose completely, are also included in the ban.
Some exemptions include the use of bag for life style plastic bags and bags used for uncooked meat and fish. Plastic straws and cotton buds in medical settings are not included.