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As part of the public consultation and further stakeholder engagement, certain exemptions to the single-use plastic regulations have been put in place.

Single-use plastic straw exemption

A critical exemption is applied to single-use plastic straws, to ensure those who need them to eat or drink independently or for medical purposes can still get access to them. This means that single-use plastic straws are to be available to purchase at in-store or online pharmacies and given on request in hospitality venues.

They are also to be available for those who need them in a small number of other places such as hospitals, care homes, schools, early learning/childcare premises and prisons. Furthermore single-use plastic straws can be supplied where they are a medical device, used for medical purposes, used as packaging or by any person providing personal care or support.

Resources for businesses and organisations - including a guidance booklet, exemption cards and social media assets – can be found at zerowastepartners.org.uk/straws-exemption.

Giving out straws when requested

Balloon sticks

It is also still possible to use single-use plastic balloon sticks for industrial or professional uses where they are not handed out to consumers, for example by an events company to decorate an event provided the balloon sticks are not distributed to the attendees at the event.

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