Wales to ban ‘thin plastic single-use bags’ in delayed bill

The Welsh government has today unveiled its delayed bill to completely ban a range of single-use items, including “thin plastic single-use carrier bags” and all products made from oxo-degradable plastics.

A range of single use items would be banned under the bill, which still needs to be approved (Picture: Shutterstock)

The bill still needs to be scrutinised and passed by the government and comes after a consultation on the proposals in 2020.

When launching the plans two years ago, the Welsh government pledged to introduce it in 2021.

The bill, if passed, will make it an offence to supply or offer to supply “littered and unnecessary disposable single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales”. Local authorities will be given the power to enforce this.

This would make Wales the first UK nation to introduce proposals on such a wide scale.

Items included in the bill are:

  • cutlery
  • plates
  • stirrers
  • 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

‘Plastic free’

The Welsh 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.”

The Welsh Government said it will also continue to work with industry, businesses, third sector bodies, academia, and others to help develop future policies.

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