A consultation on the implementation of a ban in Wales on the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products which contain plastic microbeads will open on Monday 16th October.
Following a previous UK-wide consultation, which revealed overwhelming support for a ban, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs agreed to implement such a move in Wales, through Welsh secondary legislation.
The twelve-week consultation proposes a commencement date for the ban of 30th June 2018. The Welsh Government will work with the Welsh Local Government Association with a view to using Trading Standards as the relevant enforcement authority.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“Litter is a major issue for our seas. I am pleased we, along with the rest of the UK, are taking positive action to reduce the amount of plastic which ends up in our oceans.
“Although we do not believe the use of microbeads is widespread among manufacturers in Wales, the purpose of this consultation, in addition to raising awareness of the issue, is to ensure the legislation does not disadvantage Welsh businesses in any way.
“The proposed commencement date of 30th June is, I believe, sensible as it provides businesses long enough to prepare for a ban and it gives us a realistic timescale to draft and introduce legislation which is fit for purpose and future-proof.
“We are extremely proud Wales has the third best recycling rate in the world. We still have some way to go, though, before we achieve our ultimate aim of becoming a zero waste country.
“This ban is part of a package of measures we are considering to reduce waste and tackle the damage created by plastic pollution. We are also examining the possibility of implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, where producers take responsibility for the waste they produce, and a tax on disposable plastic is one of four new tax proposals we have identified as being worthy of further consideration.
“All of these measures have the potential to make a positive contribution to protect the marine environment. It is timely we plan to introduce a microbeads ban in 2018; which is Wales’ Year of the Sea.”
The consultation on a ban on the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing plastic microbeads will be available on the Welsh Government’s website from Monday 16th October 2017.