AS BARRY Town Council begins its mission to make Wales’ largest town an anti-plastic zone, the Vale council and Welsh Government have outlined their stances on the issue.
Barry Town Council will next week hold a public event to explain how residents can get involved and lend support, following its last ShopLocal meeting.
Colin Smith, Vale council operational manager for visible services and housing, said: “Regulations regarding plastic production are a matter for Welsh Government and there is no evidence to suggest waste plastic is more of an issue in the Vale than anywhere elsewhere in the country.
“This is a global problem, but the council is taking steps to combat it.
“We operate waste reduction schemes, provide residents with waste advice and will introduce specific guidance on the disposal of waste plastic during the spring and summer.”
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said the country’s recycling rate was among the best in the world and it had launched a study to examine the potential of extended producer responsibility schemes and deposit return schemes.
They are also said to be exploring options around widening access to drinking water in public places, and are in talks with water companies and City to Sea, who worked on the scheme in Bristol, to take this forward.
“The finance secretary recently made a statement on a future tax on disposable plastics,” said the spokeswoman.
“We have secured involvement in the UK governments’ call for evidence about how it will address the issue of single use plastics, including through use of a tax.
“Work will also continue to develop a standalone disposable plastics tax for Wales.
“The Welsh Government has recycling facilities available for staff in all offices and staff are encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible.
“There is also a 25p charge for using a disposable cup when purchasing a hot drink to discourage the use of reusable cups.”
She added: “We would encourage all local authorities to look at how they can reduce the use of single-use plastics across their estates and encourage them to make recycling facilities easily available to all staff.
“There has been considerable interest in, and support for, a tax on disposable plastics in Wales.
“The Welsh Government has considered carefully the possibility that we may be able to create a more effective tax on a UK-wide basis.
“This would have the advantage of helping to increase leverage with producers and retailers and fits with stakeholder desire for consistency and simplicity and a unified scheme where possible.”