In July the Welsh Government launched a consultation asking for views about reducing single use plastic and we have now sent our response to them.
The response has been dealt with as an urgent item of business and a delegated decision was made by the Lead Member for Environment and Transport in order to make sure the response was received by the Welsh Government by the deadline of 22 October.
The consultation proposes to introduce secondary legislation to ban businesses from providing certain single use plastic items to end users (consumers) in Wales, irrespective of whether those businesses intend to charge for those items or not.
These items are:
- Plastic stemmed cotton buds
- Beverage stirrers
- Sticks for balloons
- Food containers made of expanded polystyrene
- Cups for beverages made of expanded polystyrene
The response shows that we’re in favour of the proposal but also recognise the significant impact that this would make on our communities and environment but it also sets out concerns about the impact on local businesses (e.g. manufacturers of these goods), and on retailers and the hospitality sector who use these items.
Industry and traders have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve asked Welsh Government to carefully consider the timing of this secondary legislation as a decrease in production or increase in running costs could prove catastrophic for some businesses.
There now needs to be sufficient time for businesses to develop alternative products/solutions to single-use plastic, and we’ve asked Welsh Government to look at funding to support businesseses to develop these products.
Aim is to eliminate single use plastics
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We’ve hugely increased the amount of plastics we recycle but our aim is to eliminate single use plastics in order to provide an economy that isn’t reliant on using resources to make it more sustainable if we want to achieve zero waste.
“To do this we have to turn our attention to what we are using, what we are doing with it and most importantly what impact is this having on our environment. As we all have seen from the TV and Media plastic of any type is a global problem which we can’t as an individual nation solve but we can play our part to reduce the impact Wrexham and Wales is having on the problem.
“We hope Welsh Government respond positively to the consultation results and take into account the significant amount of work that needs to be done to prevent any financial consequences to traders and business alike.”
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