NEWS: Wales considers plastic laws

Calls for legislation to reduce single-use plastics will this week be heard in the Welsh Assembly.

A series of proposals have been tabled by Huw Irranca-Davies AM, who wants the country to commit to changes.

He said: "We are at risk of drowning in the rising tide of plastics in our seas and our soil, in our rivers and our rain and groundwater, which is polluting our planet, trashing our countryside and coast, killing wildlife, and is now even entering the food-chain.

"I am calling on the Welsh Government to work with us to establish a clear action-plan to halt the plastic tide, with clear targets and milestones to achieve, and using all necessary measures including our tax and levy powers to change consumer behaviour.”

The motion says Wales should:

  • Significantly reduce the use of single-use plastics based on the best international practice and research, which would establish Wales as a world-leader in reducing plastic waste;

  • Introduce appropriate taxes and levies to significantly reduce the production and use of single use plastics in Wales;

  • Iintroduce a cross-government action plan including a comprehensive suite of measures to significantly reduce use of single use plastics;

  • Establish targets and milestones for the reduction of specific single-use plastics.

Research from Keep Wales Tidy, over the past 25 years, shows the number of cotton buds found on Welsh beaches has increased by 183% and there has been a 17% rise in the number of food containers and cups.

The AM will argue at tomorrow's debate that 'Wales took the lead in the UK in introducing the successful carrier-bag levy, which led to a 70% drop in single-use carrier bags, it should now go much further much faster and seek to use legislation and tax powers to tackle a wide range of single-use plastics which are polluting our environment'.

Jemma Bere, Policy and Research Manager at Keep Wales Tidy added: “There is a great deal that we can all do to reduce our plastic use but we must have prevention at the heart of our efforts and legislation is a key part of this.

The meeting is due to start a 1.30pm on Wednesday October 16. More details can be found here

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