PLASTIC straws, cutlery and polystyrene food and drink containers are to be banned in Wales as early as next year as part of wider measures to make the country the world’s top recycling nation,

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn confirmed today that the ban would apply to items including:

  • straws
  • stirrers
  • cotton buds
  • balloon sticks
  • plates & cutlery
  • food and drinks containers made of expanded polystyrene
  • products made from oxo-degradable plastic such as certain types of carrier bags

A consultation on the proposals will take place in the coming months; with restrictions due to come into force in the first half of 2021.

Communities across the Tivyside region are already waging war on single-use plastic, with Aberporth leading the way after being recognised as the first plastic-free community in Wales more than two years ago.

Similar groups have also been set up in Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn.

Plastic pollution effects every environment in Wales, particularly beaches and coasts which can cause harm to marine life. In a 2019 Welsh Government study, a large proportion of litter collected was made up of plastic items.

The aim of these new measures is to prevent litter from occurring in the first place, keeping valuable resources in the system and minimising the amount of waste transported to landfill sites.

Ms Blythyn said: “The single use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on the beaches and seas around our coast, blighting our beautiful country and harming our natural and marine environments.

“It is vital we don’t throw away our future – which is why we believe taking this direct action will have a significant impact on changing people’s behaviour and make them think about their waste when “on-the-go”.

“The measures I am announcing today are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem.

“I am committed to working with stakeholders to understand the impact of this proposal, particularly on any citizens who may be reliant on some of the items we have included, to make sure we get it right.

We’ll be launching a consultation on the proposals soon, and I want to encourage the people of Wales to share their views with us.”