Single use plastic ban comes into force in Wales
A number of singles use plastics have been banned in Wales from today as part of the Welsh Government’s efforts to respond to the climate crisis
The purpose of the new law is to reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the environment by prohibiting the supply of specific single-use plastic products.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said the Act “builds on momentum created by communities across Wales who have chosen to go plastic free, defy throwaway culture and tackle littering.”
According to polling, Public support for the ban has been positive with more than 87 per cent of people backing the move.
As of today, (30 October) Wales will enforce the ban on the sale of several single-use plastic items, including plates, cutlery, drinks stirrers, cups made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene, takeaway food containers of the same material, balloon sticks, cotton buds with plastic stems, and drinking straws.
Julie James said: “This is the first step in phasing out the need for unnecessary single-use plastic being used and sold in Wales.
“We’re committed to eradicating single-use plastic and our next phase will see the banning of plastic single-use carrier bags, polystyrene lids for cups and food containers and products made of oxo-degradable plastic, which will come into force before the end of the Senedd term.
“Many businesses across Wales have already adopted the change prior to the ban by switching to reusable products or swapping out their plastic for cardboard or paper alternatives where reusables aren’t suitable.”
Ms James added: “We’re also looking at plastic based wet wipes which can block drains, contribute to flooding and add microplastic fibres to our environment.
“If we all take a ‘Team Wales’ approach and look to reuse, recycle and repair more, it’ll help create a greener future for generations to come.”
Turn the tide
Welcoming the restrictions, Plaid Cymru’s climate change spokesperson Delyth Jewell added: “We want future generations to inherit a cleaner earth, so it’s vital that we turn the tide on our reliance on plastics that are choking our earth and even getting into our bloodstreams.
“While these new restrictions on Single Use Plastics are welcome, and urgently needed, we need to go even further and faster to rid ourselves of the plastic plague that pollutes are countryside, our seas and beaches.
“We have a chance here to ensure that our businesses can lead the way, and for Wales to be a world leader in recycling, so we need to provide the right support and incentives to businesses so that they can play a role. If we invest in research and development, Welsh businesses can be at the cutting edge in designing, producing and selling single-use plastic alternatives.
“It’s also vital that we make these changes in a way that is equitable and that doesn’t punish poorer households. We need to make it easy for people to make more sustainable choices when we live our lives – because we all have a crucial part to play in reaching net waste and net zero targets.”
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