Plastic straws, cutlery and polystyrene food and drink containers are to be banned in Wales, the Welsh Government has announced.
Also included in the proposed ban are: plastic stirrers; cotton buds, balloon sticks, and products made from oxo-degradable plastic – such as certain types of carrier bags.
A consultation on the proposals and they will work practically will take place in the coming months; with restrictions due to come into force in the first half of 2021.
Areas that will be looked at include the impact such a move may have on people with disabilities.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “The single-use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on the beaches and seas around our coast, blighting our beautiful country and harming our natural and marine environments.
“It is vital we don’t throw away our future – which is why we believe taking this direct action will have a significant impact on changing people’s behaviour and make them think about their waste when ‘on-the-go’.
“The measures I am announcing today are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem. I am committed to working with stakeholders to understand the impact of this proposal, particularly on any citizens who may be reliant on some of the items we have included, to make sure we get it right.
“We’ll be launching a consultation on the proposals soon, and I want to encourage the people of Wales to share their views with us.”
A ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in England is set to come into force next month.
Friends of the Earth Cymru spokesperson Bleddyn Lake welcomed the ban and said: “We are delighted that the Welsh Government are taking the threat of plastic pollution seriously and recommending we ban these single use plastic items in Wales. It’s exactly the sort of response that the planet needs to the overwhelming amount of plastic that continues to be churned out and ends up polluting our neighbourhoods, rivers and oceans.
“We hope that the Welsh Government will also press ahead now with plans to introduce a so called Latte Levy on single use coffee and soft drink cups in Wales, introduce a deposit return scheme and make manufacturers and producers responsible for their products after use, something called extended producer responsibility.”
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