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Straws, stirrers and polystyrene cups face Welsh ban

Straws, stirrers and polystyrene cups face Welsh ban

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Straws are among the items officials will consider banning Straws, stirrers, cotton buds and single-use plastic cutlery could be banned in Wales next year. The Welsh Government is to consult on restricting the sale of a wide range of the most commonly littered plastic. Deputy minister Hannah Blythyn announced

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Straws are among the items officials will consider banning

Straws, stirrers, cotton buds and single-use plastic cutlery could be banned in Wales next year.

The Welsh Government is to consult on restricting the sale of a wide range of the most commonly littered plastic.

Deputy minister Hannah Blythyn announced the proposals as AMs across the Welsh Assembly demanded a new law to tackle plastic pollution.

Ministers in England are planning controls on straws, stirrers and cotton buds from April.

The Welsh plans would go further, however, implementing an EU directive banning single-use plastics.

Ms Blythyn, deputy minister for housing and local government, told the Welsh Assembly that to “really tackle plastic waste and pollution we know that we must go beyond recycling and reduce waste in the first place”.

She said ministers want to ban or restrict “straws, stirrers, cotton buds, single-use plastic cutlery, and expanded polystyrene food packaging”.

Balloon sticks, plates, and polystyrene cups are included in the proposals.

Plans are at an early stage. The Welsh Government would need to hold a consultation, currently pegged for early next year.

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Hannah Blythyn announced the plans during a debate on single-use plastics

Ms Blythyn added that she is committed to taking action to reduce the consumption of single-use coffee cups.

“A range of options are currently being actively explored – options that include possible levies, charges or taxes,” she said.

The Welsh Government announced the plans during a debate on single-use plastics, called by Labour AM Huw Irranca-Davies.

Backed by AMs from Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, the former MP called for the Welsh Government would establish Wales “as a world-leader in reducing plastic waste”.

Calling for a new law, he proposed “appropriate taxes and levies to significantly reduce the production and use of single use plastics in Wales”.

He told AMs the Welsh Government should “consider now phasing out all single-use carrier bags totally” – beyond the charging that currently takes place.

“Wales is in a great position to lead globally on significantly reducing single-use plastic waste, using the best international practice, evidence and research, using our new powers over taxes and levies to drive behavioural change,” he said.

About 2.2m fewer single-use cups were used by public bodies in Wales in the last year, according to figures obtained by BBC Wales.

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Susan E. Lopez
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