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Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Act 2023


Section 5 - Offence of supplying prohibited single-use plastic products

17.This section makes it an offence for a person to supply or offer to supply a prohibited single-use plastic product to a consumer in Wales.

18.Subsection (1) provides that a person described in subsection (2), commits an offence if that person:

  • supplies (as defined in subsection (3) a prohibited single-use plastic product to a consumer who is in Wales. This includes arranging for the delivery of the product to a consumer at an address in Wales;

  • offers to supply (as defined in subsection (4)) a prohibited single-use plastic product by displaying it, or making it accessible or available to a consumer, on premises in Wales.

19.Subsection (2) provides that the offences in subsection (1) can only be committed by the following persons (“P”):

  • a body corporate (including a body exercising any function of a public nature);

  • a partnership;

  • an unincorporated association other than a partnership;

  • or a person acting as a sole trader.

20.Subsection (3) provides that P commits the offence of supply if either P or a person accountable to P sells the product, or provides it to a consumer free of charge.

21.Subsection (4) provides that P offers to supply a prohibited single-use plastic product under subsection (1) if either P or a person accountable to P displays the product on the premises (for example in a shop window) or keeps the product on the premises so that it is accessible by, or available to, a consumer at the premises (for example on a shop counter).

22.Subsection (5) provides that a person is “accountable to P” if that person:

  • is an employee of P,

  • has a contract for services with P,

  • is an agent of P, or

  • is otherwise subject to the management, control or oversight of P,

and that person is—

  • acting in the course of P’s business, trade or profession,

  • acting in relation to the exercise by P of P’s functions,

  • acting in relation to P’s objects or purposes, or

  • otherwise acting under the management, control or oversight of P.

23.Subsection (6) clarifies that for the purpose of the offence of supply, where P is shown to have arranged for a product to be delivered to a consumer at an address in Wales by post or any other means, it is deemed to have been supplied to the consumer at the address to which P arranges for it to be delivered, even if it is delivered to another address or is not delivered at all.

24.Subsection (7) provides a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to show they exercised due diligence and took all reasonable precautions to avoid committing it. If the defence is relied on, subsection (8) clarifies where the burden of proof lies. If sufficient evidence is raised, the burden of disproving the defence beyond reasonable doubt rests with the prosecution.

25.Subsection (9) sets out that in proceedings for an offence under subsection (1), an allegation that a product was a single-use plastic product listed in column 1 of the Table in paragraph 1 of the Schedule will be accepted as proved in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

26.Subsection (10) provides clarification that where two or more prohibited single-use plastic products are supplied, or offered for supply, together, for the purposes of subsection (1) this is to be treated as a single act of supply, or offering to supply, of a prohibited single-use plastic product.

27.Subsection (11) provides that for the purposes of this section ‘consumer’ means an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual's trade, business or profession (whether or not the individual purchased the product). For example, an individual purchasing single-use plastic plates for use in their home would be considered a consumer for the purposes of the Act, while an individual purchasing single-use plastic plates from a wholesaler on behalf of a restaurant at which they work would not. However, the onward supply by that restaurant of such a plate to a consumer in Wales would constitute an offence.

Section 6 - Offence: mode of trial and penalty

28.This section provides that the offence under section 5 is a summary offence and so is triable in the Magistrates’ Court. If a person is found guilty of the offence, the Court may impose an unlimited fine.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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