December 2, 2016

RSPCA Cymru is eager to promote the numerous avenues via which the general public can recycle unwanted items by donating them to the Society.

Proposals made by the Welsh Government, as part of its Environment (Wales) Bill, in relation to waste segregation could affect the Society in numerous ways. We have called for a specific assessment to be made concerning the impact on third sector organisations.

Carrier Bag Levy
The negative impact which discarded carrier bags can have on wildlife has been acknowledged. The International Coastal Clean-Up 2005 Report stated that 2.2 per cent of animals discovered dead as part of the 2004 survey had been entangled in a plastic bag. The implementation, therefore, of a single-use carrier bag is a positive development.

However, consequently, the increased uptake of bags-for-life, often discarded prematurely by consumers, cannot be ignored. We believe it is, therefore, prudent for the Welsh Government to have the ability to extend the charge to include other types of carrier bag, should consumer behaviour dictate.

Presently, single-use carrier bags donated to charity shops will not incur a charge as these have already been used and the tax paid on them, and we support the on-going retention of this approach by the Welsh Government. Evidence suggests the levy has had a substantial effect in reducing the use of single use carrier bags, with a 71% reduction reported.

Additionally, it is important that the impact the administration of the scheme is having on third sector organisations, who are often reliant on volunteers, is considered.

RSPCA Cymru is also supportive of enabling powers being extended so the Welsh Government could, by regulations, require retailers to donate net proceeds to any good cause, rather than just environmental good causes. This could then include all animal welfare projects undertaken by the RSPCA at a branch and national level.

Local air quality and noise management in Wales, December 2016:

The Welsh Government conducted a consultation on the proposed changes to the way local authorities and other public bodies in Wales manage air and noise pollution.

RSPCA Cymru responded to the consultation highlighting the temporary incidents of intense air and noise pollution caused in domestics settings, such as fireworks, which are not included in local authorities management plans. The response also raised the impact of the release of sky lanterns and their devastating effect on wildlife, farm and domestic animals. The full response can be read here.