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

Jurisdiction: Wales

Commencement: Sections 3,4,17,21,22, and 23 come into force on 7th June 2023. The remainder is expected from October 2023.

Amends: New Legislation

Mini Summary

The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023 aims to ban the supply of certain single-use plastic products in Wales to reduce the negative environmental impact of single-use plastic products and promote sustainable development.


The following sections come into force on 7th June 2023.

N.B. The remainder of the Act will be enacted by subsequent legislation, with the actual ban expected to come into effect from October 2023.

Key definitions
Single-use‘ means a plastic product that is intended to be used only once and then thrown away.

Plastic‘ refers to a material consisting of a polymer (other than an adhesive, paint or ink), or a material made of polymer mixed with other substances.

Plastic product‘ is an item:

  • that is made entirely or partially from plastic; or
  • that has a lining or coating made entirely or partially from plastic.


There are no duties for organisations. Duties will come into effect at a later date.

Prohibited single-use plastic products
The Schedule to this Act sets out a list of prohibited single-use plastic products including:

  • cups;
  • cutlery;
  • drink-stirrers;
  • lids for cups or takeaway food containers;
  • straws;
  • plates;
  • takeaway food containers;
  • balloon sticks;
  • carrier bags;
  • cotton buds; and
  • any product made from oxo-degradable plastic*.

*Oxo-degradable plastic is a plastic mixed with a substance to make it break down faster when exposed to heat or light.

Responsibilities and powers of Welsh Ministers
Welsh Ministers must prepare and publish guidance on the single-use plastic products prohibited under this Act and the application of any exemptions.

Welsh Ministers may amend the list of banned single-use plastic products, exemptions and definitions following consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Section 5 (not currently in force) makes it an offence for a person* to supply or offer to supply a prohibited single-use plastic product to a consumer in Wales.

*Person means:

  • a body corporate;
  • a partnership;
  • an unincorporated association; or
  • a person acting as a sole trader.

Local authorities may investigate complaints, bring prosecutions, and take steps to reduce offences related to the supply of prohibited single-use plastic products.

An authorised officer* may:

  • make test purchases and arrangements;
  • enter premises at any reasonable time;
  • carry out inspections;
  • take samples;
  • copy documents; and
  • request relevant information.

*An authorised officer is any person appointed by a local authority.


Link to full government text


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