Single-use plastic ban comes into effect in Wales


Plastic cutlery

This week (30 October), the Welsh Government’s ban on several types of single-use plastics came into effect as part of its drive towards net zero.

The Welsh Government says the purpose of the new law is to reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the environment by prohibiting the supply of certain single-use plastic products. The move follows a Welsh Government commitment to “embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do”.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said the Act forms part of the Welsh Government’s response to the “climate and nature emergencies” and “builds on momentum created by communities across Wales who have chosen to go plastic-free, defy throwaway culture and tackle littering”.

Following a Welsh Government consultation, 87% of respondents backed a ban on single-use plastics.

The following items are now banned from being sold across Wales:

  • Single-use plastic plates.
  • Single-use plastic cutlery.
  • Single-use plastic drink stirrers. 
  • Cups made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene.
  • Takeaway food containers made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene.
  • Single-use plastic balloon sticks.
  • Single-use plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
  • Single-use plastic drinking straws (exemptions for those who need them to eat and drink safely and independently).

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, commented: “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.

“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.”

Many types of single-use plastic were banned in England on 1 October. Scotland was the first UK nation to introduce a similar ban on single-use plastics in June 2022.

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