England will ban a wide range of single-use plastic items from October including plates and cutlery in order to limit their “devastating” effect on the environment, the government said Saturday. The new legislation will also cover single-use trays and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers, the environment ministry announced. The department said England uses around 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery per year, mostly plastic, with only one in 10 items recycled. Environmental policy is a devolved issue for the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK government in London sets policy in England. Similar legislation has already been passed in Scotland and Wales. Repeated breaches of the ban could end up constituting a criminal offence with offenders running the risk of a fine, said the department. “We all know the absolutely devastating impacts that plastic can have on our environment and wildlife,” said UK Environment Secretary Therese Coffey.