Diners could see their favourite takeaway restaurants make changes to their orders from Sunday, October 1, when a new ban on plastic will come into force.

Businesses will have to replace single-use cutlery, plates and containers with greener alternatives under Government guidance.

While some may think their local takeaway already does enough, it’s worth noting that polystyrene cups, bowls and trays are also expected to be axed.

The new civil law will apply to takeaways offered by restaurants and cafes, though ready meals sold as pre-packaged dishes in supermarkets will be exempt.

Action has been taken by the government in a bid to minimise the “devastating” impact of plastic on the environment.

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The new rules will be policed by civil sanctions like fines, though repeat breaches could end up in a criminal offence.

Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We all know the absolutely devastating impacts that plastic can have on our environment and wildlife.

“We have listened to the public and these new single-use plastics bans will continue our vital work to protect the environment for future generations.”

According to department officials, England uses around 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery per year – but just 10 percent of it is recycled.

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The ban has been a long time coming having been announced last year. It followed the ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and coffee stirrers, which were restricted by law in October 2020 after being planned in 2018.

Many retailers ditched plastic products for paper alternatives before the ban, including McDonald’s which ditched plastic straws back in 2018.

Express.co.uk contacted McDonald’s popular fast-food joint, for comment on the more recent change.

A spokesperson said: “This particular ban, which comes into effect next week, doesn’t apply to any of our packaging including the lids for our cups.”

The ban states that businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England.

Plastic plates, bowls and trays used as packaging will still be allowed in eat-in and takeaway settings, though the government said it would “strongly encourage” businesses to reduce their usage.

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