Single-use carrier bags

The Welsh government has introduced a bill which bans or restricts the sale of some single-use plastics, which includes an outright ban on plastic bags, which are currently subject to a 5p charge.

The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) Bill, which has been introduced as part of the Environment and climate change planning and strategy prohibits the sale of nine commonly-littered single-use plastic products.

The banned products are:

  • Cups
  • Cutlery
  • Drink stirrers
  • Lids for cups or takeaway food containers
  • Straws
  • Plates
  • Balloon sticks
  • Carrier bags
  • Cotton buds

The Bill will make it an offence to supply or offer to supply unnecessary, disposable single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales.

Wales was the first UK nation to introduce a single-use plastic carrier bag charge at 5p per bag, with Scotland and England later following suit with similar legislation. The charge has been successful in reducing the amount of bags in circulation, as well as raising money for charity.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience retailers have been making efforts to reduce single-use plastics in the communities they serve and this has in part been achieved through the successful implementation of a charge for single-use plastic bags.

“Local shops are still waiting for clarification on the timescales for the introduction of a ban, which is vital to ensure a realistic sell-through period for retailers on the prohibited products, and to avoid confusion among consumers. We will continue to engage with the Welsh government on the delivery of their plans to ensure that it is workable for retailers.”

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