Skip to main content

Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023

The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023 (‘the Act’) makes it a criminal offence to supply or offer to supply (including for free) specific single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales. The Act will stop the sale or supply of these products in Wales unless there is an exemption. 

The following commonly littered and unnecessary disposable single-use plastic products will be banned for consumers in Wales:

  • plates
  • cutlery
  • drinks stirrers
  • drinking straws (including attached straws)
  • cups made of polystyrene
  • takeaway food containers made of polystyrene
  • cup and takeaway food container lids made of polystyrene
  • plastic-stemmed cotton buds
  • sticks for balloons
  • oxo-degradable products
  • plastic single-use carrier bags

The bans will be introduced in “phases”. This is to allow businesses time to use up existing stock and to buy or make alternatives.

The Senedd produced a Bill Summary, which provides a further useful overview of the Act. The Explanatory Notes to the Act also provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

Sections 3, 4, 17, 21, 22 and 23 of the Act came into force on 7 June 2023, which is the day after it received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 22(1). The remaining provisions come into force when the Welsh Ministers make one or more commencement orders, in accordance with section 22(2) of the Act. The following order has been made:

The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2023

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation numberMade dateComing into force dateSupporting documents
The Environmental Protection 
(Single-use Plastic Products) (Civil 
Sanctions) (Wales) Regulations 
2023 No. 1288 (W. 226) 29 November 20231 December 2023Explanatory Memorandum

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:

The Bill was introduced by Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change on 20 September 2022 and passed by Senedd Cymru on 6 December 2022. More information about the Act is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum which was prepared by the Welsh Government (on introduction of the Bill).

The Act received Royal Assent on 6 June 2023.

Related articles and information:

Published on
Last updated
01 December 2023