Environmental Impact of Shopping Bags (Written)

Alison Halford:

What has the Minister done to encourage shoppers and shops to reuse plastic shopping bags or switch to using more environmentally friendly paper shopping bags? (WAQ17596)

Sue Essex:

I support the principle of encouraging shoppers and shops to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags. The national waste strategy for Wales, to be published on 14 June, will endorse the ‘bag for life’ or similar schemes, to promote consumer responsibility. Advice to local authorities on this and similar issues will be provided in the ‘Guidance on Municipal Waste Management Strategies in Wales’ to be published following consultation.

Moreover, the Welsh Assembly Government is supporting work being undertaken by the Wales Environment Trust, which looks at how take-up of ‘bag for life’ or alternative schemes might be improved.

As part of the waste strategy, the Assembly Government will also write to obligated retailers in Wales asking them what they have done to comply with the consumer information obligations in the 1997 packaging regulations. That will contribute to addressing the issue of reusing shopping bags.

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