Coronavirus: Calls to delay single-use plastic ban until 2022

Tuesday, June 02 2020

Coronavirus: Calls to delay single-use plastic ban until 2022

Mark Drakeford has been asked to delay the plastic ban because of coronavirus

Mark Drakeford has been asked to delay the plastic ban because of coronavirus

Coronavirus safety worries have led to calls for the Welsh Government to delay its ban on single-use plastics.

Straws and cutlery are among items set to be outlawed or subject to restrictions from 2021.

The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) has twice written to First Minister Mark Drakeford, asking to delay the ban and "learn the lessons" of the pandemic.

The Welsh Government says it remains committed to the ban.

As lockdown is gradually lifted, the FPA claimed the demand for hygienic single-use products should override concerns like environmental impact.

The organisation is calling on the Welsh Government to push the ban on to 2022.

It wants more consultation so expert food safety and hygiene evidence can be presented.

Executive director Martin Kersh said people had to learn from the pandemic.

"The world has moved away from plastic plates, cutlery and straws in line with EU legislation," he said.

"During the pandemic the demand from the NHS, care homes and other institutions has been incredible.

"I'm not a scientist so I can't say how the virus travels, but psychologically, those who make those purchase decisions believe this is the best solution, so that when you are feeding patients and residents you are not inadvertently spreading the virus."

He said society compromised on hygiene "at our peril."

A range of restrictions have been in place since Wales went into lockdownImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionA range of restrictions have been in place since Wales went into lockdown

The Welsh Government said it remained "committed" to banning or restricting the sale of "a range" of single use plastics.

A spokesman said: "We intend to issue a consultation on these proposals later this year.

"The outcome of this consultation will inform future regulations to impose the bans".