Electrical cars EV Straws, stirrers and polystyrene cups face Welsh ban

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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 ministers want to bring forward “a ban or restriction” on the sale of the “most commonly littered single-use plastic items”.

“This includes straws, stirrers, cotton buds, single-use plastic cutlery, and expanded polystyrene food packaging and drinks containers,” she said.

Others include balloon sticks, plates, and polystyrene cups.

Proposals are at an early stage. The Welsh Government intends to ban the items but a consultation would need to be held – it is currently pegged for early next year.

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

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.

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