The Welsh government has proposed banning a wide range of single-use plastics from next year with the aim of becoming the world’s top recycling nation.

The ban will include plastic straws, stirrers, cotton buds, cutlery, plates, expanded polystyrene food containers, types of carrier bags, and products made from oxo-degradable plastic.

This step is intended to support the government’s plans to move to a circular economy.

The circular economy strategy, ‘Beyond Recycling’, aims to transform Wales into zero waste by 2050.

It will also help prevent unnecessary litter and reduce the volume of waste from entering into landfills. According to a study conducted by the Welsh Government last year, the litter collected in Wales is largely made up of plastic items.

Housing and Local Government deputy minister Hannah Blythyn said: “The single use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on beaches and seas around our coast, blighting our beautiful country and harming our natural and marine environments.

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“It is vital we don’t throw away our future – which is why we believe taking this direct action will have a significant impact on changing people’s behaviour and make them think about their waste when ‘on-the-go’.

“The measures I am announcing today are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem. I am committed to working with stakeholders to understand the impact of this proposal, particularly on any citizens who may be reliant on some of the items we have included, to make sure we get it right.

“We’ll be launching a consultation on the proposals soon, and I want to encourage the people of Wales to share their views with us.”

England is set to soon implement a ban on the use of the plastics straws, stirrers and cotton buds.

Last year, Scotland enforced new laws that ban the production and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.