A new plan, called ‘Litter and Fly-tipping Free Wales’, which outlines how the Welsh Government intends to crack down on the issue, has been launched for consultation.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, commented on the launch of the new plan: “There are no excuses for littering and fly-tipping.
“As well as being unsightly and spoiling our enjoyment of our towns and countryside, litter – particularly plastic litter and fly-tipping –impacts our health and well-being, and threatens Wales’ wildlife and habitats alike, risking their loss not just for future generations, but for those alive in Wales today.
“The goals set out within the plan are far-sighted ambitions, and enforcement will play a key role – but enforcement alone isn’t enough to tackle these issues, and we will need everyone to play their part at every level of production, use and disposal to not only reduce litter, but to stop items from becoming litter in the first place.”
Some of the actions outlined in the new plan include:
- Incentivising businesses to produce more environmentally-friendly packaging;
- Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme to help cut down on the littering of drinks containers;
- Improving the monitoring and reporting of incidents of fly-tipping, on both private and public land;
- Launching a national anti-litter awareness raising campaign
- Reviewing current enforcement arrangements for litter and fly-tipping, potentially increasing penalties if needed, including exploring how Wales could introduce legislation to crack down on littering from moving vehicles.
Minister Griffiths continued: “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have taken the opportunity posed by lockdown to explore their local areas, and green spaces close to their homes – but sadly, we have also seen single-use masks discarded on the ground, and pleas from the National Trust and National Park Authorities for people not to discard their rubbish in beauty spots.
“Such sights are evidence of why new arrangements have to be introduced to help tackle these twin issues, and to encourage people not only to dispose of their rubbish properly, but to consider alternatives to single-use and disposable items.”
More information about this consultation, which accepts responses until 25th of March, and how to take part is available on the Welsh Government website.