LONDON (ICIS)--The Welsh government is to ban single-use plastic items in Wales from the first half of 2021, the government of the UK's country said on Wednesday.
The ban will come into effect in the first half of 2021, following a consultation period set to begin in the coming months, according to Wales' deputy minister for housing and local government Hannah Blythyn.
Items that will come under the ban include:
- Cotton buds
- Balloon sticks
- Plates and cutlery
- Food and drinks containers made of expandable polystyrene (EPS)
- Products made from oxo-degradable plastic; such as certain types of carrier bags
“The measures I am announcing today [Wednesday] are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem,” Blythyn said.
“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."
The Welsh government’s website states the country is now first in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world for household waste recycling.
“It is not surprising that Wales has introduced this legislation as it has been extremely proactive in building its circular economy strategy ‘Beyond Recycling’," said Helen McGeough, ICIS Senior Analyst, Recycling.
"The government has pushed to embed recycling in the culture of the country and is very focused on achieving 100% recycling and zero waste by 2050."
According to McGeough, the Welsh government have set recycling targets that allowed to achieve municipal waste recycling rates of 63% in 2018-2019, up from just 5% in 1998-1999).
This has been achieved by investing in recycling collection services, separate food waste collection, improved facilities at waste recycling centres, reduced general rubbish collections to encourage recycling, and comprehensive and consistent collection of materials for recycling across the country.
“All these aspects bring greater harmonisation in the waste management system and prioritises recycling, representing some best practices that other countries could learn from,” McGeough added.
Last week, the UK government announced a £200/tonne plastics packaging tax due to come into effect in April 2022.