It is part of a drive by ministers to “fight against plastic waste to protect natural environments and marine wildlife,” the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.
However, there are key exceptions to this rule that apply to community pharmacies. The legislation states that a “health professional” – which includes pharmacists and pharmacy technicians - may use single-use plastic for “medical purposes”.
The ban also does not apply to single-use plastic that forms part of a “relevant” medical device.
Pharmacies can also supply single-use plastic straws if these are not “advertised to customers”. They also must “not be kept in a place where they are visible to customers or where customers can access them” and must not be offered or provided to a patient “unless the customer has requested them”, according to the legislation.
Existing stock of such products, if it was purchased before April 30, may be supplied until October 31.