The revelation that a complete ban on the use of plastic bags is being considered by politicians in Wales suggests the country’s Assembly might have some useful teeth after all.

The possible ban, which could come into force as early as next March, was confirmed by Jane Davidson, Sustainability Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government.

As well as providing a bold lead for other legislative bodies to follow, it shows how the Assembly is looking to make full use of the extended powers recently granted to it by Westminster.

Eight billion plastic bags are used in the UK annually, according to Friends of the Earth, with the average householder using 134 every year.

Some supermarkets have already bowed to public pressure to offer greener alternatives to the plastic bags.

An outright ban on plastic bags would add weight to the growing campaign for UK retailers and other businesses, as well as consumers, to adopt a more environmentally friendly approach to shopping.

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