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Wales moves on polystyrene packaging

Wales is planning to outlaw polystyrene fast-food containers and cups in the latest package of legislation to tackle single use plastic products.

In 2011, Wales was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a charge for single-use carrier bags, and it is currently ranked as the world’s third best domestic recycler.

Now, it is set to become the first part of the UK to legislate against such a comprehensive list of single-use plastics. The legislation will make it an offence to supply or offer to supply littered and unnecessary disposable single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales.

It provides local authorities with powers to enforce the offence, and includes:

  • cutlery
  • plates
  • stirrers
  • drinking straws – this product has an exemption for health needs
  • plastic stemmed cotton buds
  • balloon sticks
  • expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene fast-food containers
  • expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene cups
  • polystyrene lids for all cups and fast-food containers
  • thin plastic single-use carrier bags
  • all products made of oxo-degradable plastic

The decision to include these products follows a consultation in 2020, with all having non-plastic or reusable alternatives. Ministers will also have  the power to add or remove products.

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