Call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastic items

Closed 12 Feb 2022

Opened 20 Nov 2021


The Government is committed to leaving our environment in a better state than we found it and protecting it for future generations. The 25 Year Environment Plan, published in January 2018, outlines the steps we will take to achieve that, including eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

We are currently consulting on proposals to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks, and expanded and extruded polystyrene cups and food and beverage containers in England. We are committed to going further and addressing other sources of plastic pollution, which is why we are also launching this call for evidence, to help gather evidence on other problematic plastic items and help inform future policy making.

We are particularly interested in wet wipes, tobacco filters, sachets, and other single-use plastic cups. These items frequently escape waste management systems and enter the terrestrial and/or marine environment, and we are exploring whether we need to take additional action to reduce their use and tackle the problems caused by their incorrect disposal. We want to gather further evidence on these items, such as on their environmental impact, and gauge views on potential policy options to better inform our approach. In addition to these four items, we are seeking views on other potentially problematic single-use plastic items and whether there is support for future policy action for these items, as well as how to achieve a shift away from single-use culture. 

Whilst the proposed ban would apply in England only, the Devolved Administrations are considering bringing forward similar regulations. We are committed to engaging with the Devolved Administrations on wider impacts of these proposals, including on the functioning of the UK internal market.

What happens next

Thank you to all those who responded to this call for evidence. A summary of responses to this call for evidence will be published at


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Government Departments
  • Industries and professional services
  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Local Authorities
  • Waste Management Companies
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Member of the General Public
  • Trading Standards Officers


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Green economy
  • Sustainable development
  • Waste and recycling
  • DEFRA Policy