Wales follows Scotland and England to ban single-use plastics

Single-use plastics have been banned in Wales from today.

Plastic plates, cutlery and drink stirrers which can only be used once will be included as part of the ban.

The Welsh government says the move would further "embed [its] response to the climate and nature emergency in everything [it does]".

Other items covered by the ban include cups and takeaway food containers made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene, single-use plastic balloon sticks and cotton bud stems.

Single-use plastic drinking straws have also been banned, with exemptions in place for those who need them to drink safely and independently.

The government in Cardiff added this would be the first step as it looks to completely phase out single-use plastic items.

That next phase will see a ban on single-use plastic carrier bags and polystyrene lids for cups and food containers.

Government ministers say that ban will come into force before the end of the current Senedd term in 2026.

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Scotland was the first UK nation to introduce a similar ban on single-use plastics in June last year.

England followed suit on 1 October, with the UK government's environment secretary saying it would "protect the environment for future generations".

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Plaid Cymru's climate change spokesperson Delyth Jewell has welcomed the ban but says more needs to be done.

"We need to go even further and faster to rid ourselves of the plastic plague that pollutes our countryside, our seas and beaches," she said.

The Welsh government is currently consulting on banning wet wipes containing plastic.

Climate change minister Julie James said if people reused, recycled and repaired more, it would "help create a greener future for generations to come".