MOVES to make Laugharne plastic-free have been backed by Carmarthenshire councillors.

They supported a motion brought by councillor Jane Tremlett which called on the authority to back the town’s campaign and promote its aim of reducing single-use plastic.

The motion also asked the council to write to the Welsh and UK Governments requesting new legislation to make all packaging materials recyclable.

Community litter pickers in Laugharne have collected large amounts of plastic in recent months.

“With age it becomes brittle and disintegrates in your hands as you pick it up, becoming lethal to bird life and small animals,” said Cllr Tremlett, who represents Laugharne, at a full council meeting.

“All this in a triple SSI (site of special scientific interest) conservation area.”

Councillor John James said: “Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet.”

He said Assembly members had considered several petitions on this topic, and that supermarkets needed to act quickly as well as Governments.

In 2011 the Welsh Government became the first country in the UK to introduce a 5p charge for plastic bags.

It is currently consulting on a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, plus a UK-wide proposal for manufacturers to bear the waste costs of the products they make.

Executive board member for the environment, Councillor Hazel Evans, said the council would be responding to the consultations, adding that it supported Laugharne in its endeavours.

Councillor Liam Bowen said other communities in Carmarthenshire should follow Laugharne’s lead.

Councillor Ken Lloyd said he felt the motion “is pushing an open door as far as the Welsh Government is concerned”, given its many environmental commitments.

Councillor Cefin Campbell, executive board member for communities and rural affairs, said a previous motion calling for the authority to be a “net zero-carbon” one by 2030 had gone “beyond the target of the Welsh Government”.

Pic. Laugharne Castle, ©Alan Evans 

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