What legislative proposals does the Welsh Government have to ban lead and single use plastics in shotgun ammunition?
I am concerned by the harm being done to wild birds, animals, humans and the wider environment through the deposition of lead ammunition over both land and water. This is a view shared by the other GB administrations. The Welsh Government, along with the UK and Scottish Governments, have therefore initiated the lead shot restriction process, and it forms part of this year’s UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) work programme, which can be viewed at https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/work-programme.htm.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working to prepare a restriction dossier on risks to the environment and human health of the use of lead in ammunition (projectiles) in all habitats in Great Britain. To help compile the dossier, the HSE opened a call for evidence on 23 August and has invited interested parties to contribute by providing information and data before the closing date of 22 October. The call for evidence for lead in ammunition can be found on the HSE's website at https://consultations.hse.gov.uk/crd-reach/restriction-proposals-001/.
The finalised dossier, including any restriction proposal, will be published on the HSE's website and this report is expected to be available to view in April 2022.
Turning to single use plastics, we have already consulted on plans to introduce bans for a number of single use plastic items commonly found littered in the marine environment. These proposals have been delayed following the introduction of the UK Internal Market Act 2020 by the UK Parliament in December. We are currently addressing the implications of this Act through a legal challenge which is due to be heard early next year. In the interim, we will continue to work with retail and manufacturing sectors to support voluntary action to remove harmful single use plastics and products from the supply chain.
Whilst we do not have any immediate plans in relation to plastics in shotgun ammunition, the Welsh Government continues to consider a range of options to help deliver on its commitment to abolish the littering of single use items, particularly those made of plastic. I encourage those participating in shooting activities to ensure they do not litter the environment.