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Environment

Wales Set to Ban Single-Use Plastics in 2021


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Wales is expected to pass a proposal banning single-use plastic products in the coming months, according to the Guardian. 

The move, announced on Wednesday, comes as part of the government’s efforts to increase household recycling and become a more sustainable country.

The ban would affect plastic straws, cutlery, plates, stirrers, and food and drink containers made of polystyrene and oxo-degradable plastics.

If passed, the proposed ban would not go into effect until 2021.

"The single-use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on the beaches and seas around our coast, blighting our beautiful country and harming our natural and marine environments," Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said.

A consultation on the proposed ban is expected to take place in the next few months. 

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Blythyn is hoping to work quickly and position Wales as part of the solution to the world’s growing plastic pollution problem. 

"It is vital we don’t throw away our future — which is why we believe taking this direct action will have a significant impact on changing people’s behaviour and make them think about their waste when on the go," she said

More than 380 million metric tons of plastic are produced every year, half of which is made for single-use purposes only. 

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Another 8 million tons of plastic end up being dumped into the world’s oceans, harming marine life.

While this ban is just one of many steps that must be taken to significantly reduce plastic pollution, it sends a clear message that this measure is necessary to push Wales on the path of becoming a zero-waste nation.