Single use plastic ban comes into force as Welsh Government strives to reach net zero

The move follows a Welsh Government commitment to ‘embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do’

The purpose of the new law is to reduce the flow of plastic pollution into our environment by prohibiting the supply of certain single-use plastic products.

Climate Change Minister Julie James explained the Act forms part of the Welsh Government’s response to the climate and nature emergencies and ‘builds on momentum created by communities across Wales who have chosen to go plastic free, defy throwaway culture and tackle littering’

Public support for the ban has been positive with more than 87 per cent of people backing the move.

As of today, the following items are now banned from being sold across the country:

  • Single-use plastic plates
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use plastic drinks stirrers
  • Cups made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene
  • Takeaway food containers made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene
  • Single-use plastic balloon sticks
  • Single-use plastic-stemmed cotton buds
  • Single-use plastic drinking straws (exemptions for those who need them to eat and drink safely and independently)

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

This is the first step in phasing out the need for unnecessary single-use plastic being used and sold in Wales.

We’re committed to eradicating single-use plastic and our next phase will see the banning of plastic single-use carrier bags, polystyrene lids for cups and food containers and products made of oxo-degradable plastic, which will come into force before the end of the Senedd term.

Many businesses across Wales have already adopted the change prior to the ban by switching to reusable products or swapping out their plastic for cardboard or paper alternatives where reusables aren’t suitable.

We’re also looking at plastic based wet wipes which can block drains, contribute to flooding and add microplastic fibres to our environment.

If we all take a ‘Team Wales’ approach and look to reuse, recycle and repair more, it’ll help create a greener future for generations to come.


More information can be found on our own “Net Zero Wales” Page or visiting Gov.Wales