Sustainability and regulations

Proposed upcoming regulations that could impact SMEs

Take a look at the UK timeline for some of the upcoming regulations that could affect your business. As this is an evolving area, please refer to the links for additional information.1


EPC ratings

All private rental properties in Scotland must have an EPC rating of E or above by 31 March 2022.

EPC rating of D or above at the change of tenancy from 1 April 2022.

Plastic tax

From April 2022, there’ll be a tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content.

EV charging

All new builds in England – including houses, supermarkets and workplaces – must have electric vehicle charging points. 


Plastics system change – proposed

From January 2023, under the packaging waste regulations, the new External Producer Responsibility system (EPR) will set new targets for recycling packaging. This will replace the current Packaging Recovery Note system (PRN).

Plastics returns – proposed

From January 2023, the Deposit Returns System (DRS) for drinks containers will be introduced across England and Wales. 

Recycling collections – proposed

From January 2023, the legislation for ensuring consistency in household and business recycling collections will standardise waste collections across England, which could lead to changes to product labelling. 

Single-use plastics – upcoming

From October 2023, single-use plastics will be banned in England. This includes single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings

Commercial leases in England and Wales will need to be rated E or above by 2023.

The switch to more energy-efficient lighting – upcoming

The UK government will stop the sale of fluorescent lightbulbs from September 2023. They expect the switch to LED lighting to prevent 1.26 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually and save consumers £75 each per year.

The move builds on September 2021’s ban on the sale of most halogen lightbulbs.

2030 - 2040

Commercial EPC ratings – proposed

By 2030, all commercial rented buildings must have improved the building to an EPC of B or above, or registered a valid exemption.

Phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles – upcoming

The UK government will stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK by 2035.

Trucks and lorry sales – upcoming

The UK government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles from 2040 and smaller diesel trucks from 2035.

Larger trucks and lorry sales – upcoming

All new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles will be banned from 2040 and larger ones, weighing more than 26 tonnes, will be banned earlier, if possible.

You may be interested in

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Consumer behaviour

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How to get started

Learn how you can get started on your journey towards a more sustainable business.