Wrexham Council calls for ban on ‘un-recyclable’ free plastic toys given out to children
The Welsh Government is being urged to consider a ban on free plastic toys given out to children after a local authority described them as “un-recyclable”.
The call has been made by Wrexham Council amid concerns free gifts handed out with magazines and at events are causing damage to the environment.
The government is currently consulting on plans to reduce single use plastics in Wales.
Ministers are proposing to introduce legislation to ban businesses from providing certain items to consumers, regardless of whether they intend to charge for them or not.
They include plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates and straws, as well as food containers and cups made of polystyrene.
However, the authority has argued that plastic freebies should also be included in the list as researchers have highlighted they can take hundreds of years to break down.
In its proposed response, the council said: “In addition to the items mentioned in the consultation, we would like to call for a ban on all plastic non-essential promotional materials (i.e. “freebies”).
“These items are often given out at events, with magazines, in shops etc. and are often targeted at children.
“They have no functional use, are often poor in quality and quickly discarded. They are often un-recyclable.
“We believe that these items add unnecessary plastics to our waste, and promote a message which is at odds with the environmental responsibility we are otherwise teaching our younger generations.”
It has also called for a ban on plastic confetti used at weddings and in greeting cards.
The government’s overall aim is to achieve a “zero waste nation” by 2050.
It would mean that all discarded materials would need to be recycled or recirculated as it requires a recycling rate of 100 per cent from all sectors.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is October 22 with the council’s lead member for environment Cllr David A Bithell expected to approve its reply under delegated powers.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter
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