19 July, 2023

Businesses are reminded that a range of common single-use (SUP) plastics items, such as straws and carrier bags, will be banned on the Isle of Man in three months' time.

Tynwald members voted unanimously to replace the sale, distribution and supply of 10 items, which have more sustainable alternatives in October 2022, following a public consultation on the legislation.

Businesses were given 12 months to make the necessary changes before the Climate Change (Single Use Plastic) Regulations 2022 make it illegal to sell or supply SUP straws, carrier bags, cutlery, including chopsticks, plates, stirrers, plastic-stemmed cotton buds, polystyrene cups and polystyrene food containers for immediate use.

Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, Political Member for Environment, said: ‘This legislation positions the Isle of Man at the forefront of the fight against plastic pollution and aligns with the values of a UNESCO Biosphere and Our Island Plan objectives.

‘Businesses should be well underway with their plans now and we are working closely with them to offer help - but ultimately failure to act could result in fines.’

The ban, which comes into effect on 19 October 2023, will also apply to personal care products containing microbeads, balloon sticks and all products made from oxo-degradable plastic, which do not completely decompose.

Some exemptions will be made for certain items, including the use of plastic bags for uncooked meat and fish, and plastic straws and cotton buds used in medical settings. Compostable plastic certified to British Standard BS EN 13432 and carrier bags made of woven plastic or reusable bag of a certain specification.

As the regulations come into force, businesses are encouraged to rethink their business practices or embrace alternatives. This shift was widely supported by the Isle of Man public, with 90% of the 700 respondents to the consultation agreeing all items should be axed.

Businesses can also yield cost savings and contribute to combating the climate emergency.

A guidance document and a range of helpful information can be found on netzero.im.