Retailers are being asked to hand over stocks of the party drug mephedrone before it becomes illegal.
Council-employed trading standards officers in Norfolk have confiscated plant food believed to contain the drug and staff in Haringey, north London, have visited shops which they believe are selling it.
Councillor Paul Bettison, from the Local Government Association, said: "Council staff have not been idle ahead of the change in the rules. Work has been taking place to ensure supplies of mephedrone are handed over to the authorities so that this potentially damaging drug is cleared from shelves as quickly as possible."
Earlier this week, the Home Office announced the drug would become illegal from Friday and will then be classified as a class B drug.
From Friday, possession of mephedrone can carry a sentence of five years in prison with a maximum sentence for dealing in the drug of 14 years.
The move to ban mephedrone, which is sold over the internet as plant food, comes despite the resignation of two Government drugs advisers over the issue.
Earlier this month, Eric Carlin followed Dr Polly Taylor in stepping down from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).
In a letter of resignation, Mr Carlin said the decision to ban the drug was made despite there being "little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour".
He added: "Our decision was unduly based on media and political pressure."
Calls for mephedrone to be made illegal came as a series of reports linked it to deaths across England and Scotland.