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Single-Use Plastics: Wales Set To Ban Carrier Bags, Straws

The Welsh government is pressing ahead with delayed plans to ban single-use carrier bags and plastic drinking straws in Wales.

Plastic plates, cutlery, stirrers and cotton buds would also be banned under the proposed new law.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said Wales must “avoid leaving a toxic legacy” to future generations.

The Conservatives accused Labour ministers of “dragging their heels on environmental issues”.

England and Scotland have already banned plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers.

However nowhere in the UK has stopped the sale of single-use carrier bags.

The new Welsh law would make it an offence to supply or offer to supply what ministers call “littered and unnecessary disposable single-use plastics”.

The Welsh government said the law needed to bring in the changes was delayed by a complicated piece of post-Brexit UK legislation.

The bill, which will now begin the required scrutiny process before it can become law, would also give local councils the powers to enforce the ban on single-use plastic items including:

  • Cutlery, plates and stirrers
  • Drinking straws (with an exemption for medical or care needs)
  • Cotton buds with plastic stems
  • Balloon sticks
  • Polystyrene takeaway containers, cups and lids
  • Thin plastic single-use carrier bags

The list follows a consultation in 2020 and the Welsh government argues there are non-plastic or reusable alternatives to all of the products.

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