23rd August 2020

Environment Plastic: Welsh Government considers banning straws and cotton buds

Environment Plastic: Welsh Government considers banning straws and cotton buds

Environment

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The single biggest use of plastics is in packaging and it tends to be used just once before being thrown away

Plans to ban single-use plastic items including straws, cotton buds and polystyrene food and drinks containers is being considered by the Welsh Government.

It wants a zero waste Wales by 2050.

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn will launch a public consultation on the proposals at a beach clean on Anglesey on Thursday.

The Welsh Government said as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease, littering has become more prominent.

Ms Blythyn said: “Plastic pollution and the impact it has on our environment is regularly highlighted in the media, online and in conversations I have every day with people across Wales.

“It blights our communities and has a devastating impact on our wildlife.”

Lesley Jones, CEO of Keep Wales Tidy, welcomed the launch of the consultation, saying: “The damage caused by plastics is far reaching and we are eager to see a drive towards reusable alternatives across society.”

She said she hoped the consultation would “lead to a series of bold policy actions by government to reduce plastic at source”.

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More and more restaurants and shops are banning plastic straws

Responding to the launch of the consultation, Welsh Conservative member of the Senedd (MS) Janet Finch-Saunders said: “Finally, the Welsh Labour-led Government has stopped dithering and is getting on with banning single-use plastics, something which the Welsh Conservatives have been calling for and willing to do for years.”

She also called for the introduction of a bottle deposit return scheme.

Concerns have previously been raised that ditching plastic drinking straws for eco-friendly alternatives could cause problems for disabled people.

The consultation is open until 22 October and the single-use plastic items being consulted on include: straws; stirrers; cotton buds; balloon sticks; plates; cutlery; food and drinks containers made of expanded polystyrene; and products made from oxo-degradable plastic.

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