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.
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:
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.
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