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Wales acts to ban single use plastic carrier bags

Medical exemptions will be removed

November 15th 2022

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Wales is to bring in legislation to ban single-use carrier bags in medical establishments, including GPs and pharmacies.

The proposed Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill will make it an offence for a person to supply or offer to supply (including for free), certain commonly littered and unnecessary single-use plastic (SUP) products, including bags, to a consumer in Wales.

In a debate, politicians have agreed to remove the proposed exemption for medical establishments, which allows medicines or devices to be supplied in a plastic bag.

GPs and community pharmacies are already encouraged to use non-plastic bags when selling or dispensing NHS and over the counter items. However, evidence from Friends of the Earth received by the Welsh parliament suggests that pharmacies still hand out millions of small plastic bags each year.