Industry News

The Welsh Government introduces a ban on various single-use plastics

by | Oct 31, 2023

The Welsh Government recently announced that they would be joining England and Scotland, with their decision to ban various single-use plastics. The Government has decided to do this in order to reduce the amount of plastic pollution and to show their commitment to the environment.

The items to be banned include single-use plastic plates, cutlery and drinks stirrers, cups and food containers which are made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene and finally single-use plastic balloon sticks, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and drinking straws.

These rules were announced one month after England and Scotland announced similar bans in their respective regions. The two largest motives behind making these changes are to highlight Wales’s commitment to the environment and nature emergency by reducing the amount of plastic waste, in order to help the environment. The second reason is that a study performed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, revealed that people living in England use 2.7 billion single-use plastic cutlery items and 721 million single-use plates annually. It is estimated that only 10% of these items are recycled. Therefore, the Government has chosen to place this ban in Wales, to prevent this issue from continuing. These bans will see a major change in what retailers are allowed to sell, what industries are allowed to manufacture and what consumers are allowed to use.

The new rules have been met with a wide range of approval, with statistics stating that 87% of people agreed with and supported the change. This support clearly originates from the obvious benefits of reducing plastic pollution, as plastic takes hundreds of years to break down and decompose, plus it inflicts environmental damage whilst also spreading microplastics which have been known to be dangerous to human health.

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. Many businesses across Wales have already adopted the change prior to the ban by switching to reusable products or swapping out their plastic for cardboard or paper alternatives where reusables aren’t suitable. 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.”

The ban does not include to single-use plastics that are used in pre-packaged food, as there are plans being put in place to include these items in an extended producer responsibility scheme.

Pin It on Pinterest