Single use plastics ban – what next?

Today (30 October 2023) marks an important moment, as The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill finally comes into force. The law bans the sale and supply of a number of items, from single use plates and cutlery to plastic cotton buds and balloon sticks.

We very much welcome the ban and hope that we’ll quickly see a marked reduction of these unnecessary items littered on our streets, parks and beaches.

Crucially, the Single Use Plastics Act recognises that this is a first phase in a journey toward reducing plastic pollution and that a preventative approach is needed.

Let’s keep up the momentum

We’re urging Welsh Government to keep up the momentum and immediately consider additional harmful items which should be restricted.

The ban should extend to items which are deemed unnecessary and are either difficult to dispose of or recycle; or items for which suitable and readily available alternatives exist. Of course, restrictions must not affect any specific group of people adversely, including those on lower incomes.

The following items meet the above criteria and are not subject to proposed Extended Producer Responsibility requirements:

  • Takeaway / single serving condiment sachets
  • Coffee cups, plastic ‘safety lids’ and paper cups with a non-recyclable plastic lining
  • Unnecessary packaging on fruit and vegetables, such as the plastic covering on cucumbers
  • Multi-buy wrapping found on products like tins of baked beans or beer cans
  • Disposable razors, lighters and other products
  • Glitter, balloons, confetti and similar temporary decorative items
  • Non-biodegradable dog poo bags for dogs, baby nappy sacks and bin bags
  • Laminated paper adverts in newspapers and magazines or junk mail
  • Sandwich packets and black plastic ready meal trays
  • Cellophane wrappers on cigarette packets
  • Non-recyclable packaging for sweets and crisps
  • Plastic ties, packaging and supports on children’s toys which are not part of the toy
  • Plastic tags e.g. to hold price or size labels on clothing and plastic clothes hangers
  • Plastic tampon applicators and plastic toothpicks
  • Lollypop sticks, sweet wrappers and similar items

This is not an exhaustive list. We must recognise that consumer trends are always evolving and be ready to respond to emerging threats of other single use products. So, we are also calling on Welsh Government to update the list of items annually.

You can keep up to date on our policy and research work by following @KWT_Policy on X.


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