Wales’ New Plastic Bag Policy and its Effects on Marine Areas

Although carrier bags aren’t as much of an issue on our beaches as some of the smaller plastic items, they are still an obvious problem.

Image: Philip Halling [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Some of you may know, and some may not that Wales has a new policy that one-use plastic bags must be sold for 5p, and any proceeds must go to a natural conservation charity. Well apart from spending a fortune because I always forget (I now keep lots of bags in my car), I think this is a step in the right direction towards reducing plastic litter. I have personally seen people using shopping trolleys rather then buying carrier bags.

Marine areas are one of the ecological niches most affected by plastic. Once the plastic enters the water column, they cannot be removed. Even when the plastic is eroded into tiny particles, those particles are caught by filter-feeders and plankton, and from there it makes the way up the food chain.

I did a study based on my findings and the findings made by the Marine Conservation Society on litter dropped on the coast of England. My findings may not be a surprise to most people: plastic was the largest material found on the beach in regards to size and weight. Another surprising thing was that it was not the most present type of litter, but the volume of it made up for its absence.

Although carrier bags aren’t as much of an issue on our beaches as some of the smaller plastic items, they are still an obvious problem. Reducing the amount of plastic bags we use is a brilliant way to raise awareness and stop as much plastic pollution as possible. If we cannot stop the use of plastic in an economic sense, we must make using plastic a social issue. I think this is a step towards that. I for one see a person with a plastic bag and think “did they really need to pay for that?”


No comments yet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.*

Tick the box or answer the captcha.

You might also like

  • Rewilding: Lynx and Livestock in the UK.

    Attacks by lynx on sheep, particularly lambs, are known from across Europe and it seems inevitable that lynx would kill sheep here in Scotland. It is important however to put this in perspective.

    By James Common
  • Wild Animal or a Prop for the Perfect Holiday Snap?

    Primates around the world are used in a variety of ways for the entertainment of tourists. Some are made to perform tricks for large paying audiences, others owned by people who use them to beg for money from tourists in return for using the animal as a photographic prop.

    By Guest Bloggers
  • The Big Deer Debate

    Deer are never far from the press in recent times; debated tirelessly and inspiring fierce devotion from people both sides of the cull or not to cull divide. Some seek to control deer, to cull them in aid of economic or environmental gains; others to preserve them for sport or out of sheer goodwill.

    By James Common