SINGLE-USE plastics are to be banned in Wales from next year.

The ban, part of efforts by the Welsh Government to increase recycling in Wales, will cover items including straws, stirrers, cotton buds, balloon sticks, plates and cutlery made out of plastic, as well as food and drinks containers made of expanded polystyrene. It will also cover products made from oxo-degradable plastic, such as certain types of carrier bags.

It is planned that the ban will come into force in the first half of 2021, following a public consultation later this year.

Announcing the ban, the Welsh Government's deputy minister for housing and local government Hannah Blythyn said: “The single use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on 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”.

Plastic pollution effects every environment in Wales, particularly Wales’ 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.

Following today’s announcement, a new behaviour change campaign will launch next week to reinforce how recycling has become the norm and how the public can help Wales become the world’s top recycling nation.