New Bill to ban single-use plastics in Wales expected to be laid today.
4 months ago
It is expected that later today a new bill, banning single-use plastics in Wales will be laid before the Senedd.
The bill, which will, according to the Welsh Government, tackle the climate and nature emergencies by banning single-use plastics.
In 2011, Wales was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a charge for single-use carrier bags, and it is currently ranked as the world’s third best domestic recycler. Now, the Welsh Government will be at the forefront of action on plastic with Wales set to become the first part of the UK to legislate against such a comprehensive list of single-use plastics.
However, there is some way to go with the bill set to go through a four step process before coming law.
The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill will make it an offence to supply or offer to supply littered and unnecessary disposable single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales.
The bill will also provide local authorities with powers to enforce the offence, and includes:
- Drinking straws – this product has an exemption for health needs
- Plastic stemmed cotton buds
- Balloon sticks
- Expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene fast-food containers
- Expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene cups
- Polystyrene lids for all cups and fast-food containers
- Thin plastic single-use carrier bags
- All products made of oxo-degradable plastic
The decision to include these products follows a consultation in 2020, with all having non-plastic or reusable alternatives.
Importantly, the Bill will also give Ministers the power, with the support of the Senedd, to add or remove products, placing Wales in the driving seat for future action.
The Welsh Government will also continue to work with industry, businesses, third sector bodies, academia, and others to help develop future policies.
The Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said:
“This is a big moment in our journey towards a plastic-free Wales.
“Single-use plastic products are often seen littered in our streets, parks and seas. Not only are they unsightly, but they have a devastating impact on our wildlife and environment.
“With a Team Wales effort, we have to say no to the single-use item culture, so we avoid leaving a toxic legacy of plastic for future generations to deal with.
“By thinking differently, making lifestyle changes and choosing re-usable products, we can save money and help fight the devastating impacts of climate change.”
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