Assembly Consulting on Charging for Plastic Bags

Ceredigion's Assembly Member Elin Jones has urged local residents to respond to a consultation launched this week by the One Wales Government on plans to reduce the availability of free single-use plastic bags in Wales .

The Assembly's Environment Minister, Jane Davidson AM, this week announced that she's seeking views on a proposal to introduce a charge for single-use plastic bags in Wales . In particular, the Minister wants views on what types of bags should be included in a scheme and how much retailers should charge for bags.

Elin Jones said:
“Despite positive steps being taken by many supermarkets to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic bags given out in the UK , we still have a long way to go to reduce the environmental impact of these bags – especially since they take hundreds of years to decompose.

“I hope Ceredigion residents will provide their views on these proposals in order to ensure any resulting legislation strikes the most appropriate balance between meeting the needs of consumers and protecting the environment”.

This is an issue that many people in Aberystwyth have campaigned on but, because local councils don't have the power to enforce a policy if this kind, it's proved very difficult to make progress. Only towns like Totnes in Devon, with an unusually large number of independent, green-minded businesses, have succeeded in getting a voluntary town-wide agreement to eradicate free plastic bags. The Assembly, on the other hand, now has the power to use the Climate Change Act 2008 so it's at this level that we're most likely to get some action.

Details of the consultation and how to take part are here: