It is very heartening to see the response to the litter campaign being promoted by Lee Waters AM, with the help of the Llanelli Star and numerous volunteers. Of course we all realise that there is much more than this to cleaning up and taking pride in our area, not least, of course, education, changing attitudes and the provision of bins in appropriate places.
We also need to promote recycling and to be looking at reducing wasteful packaging that is not recyclable. Wales has led the way in charging for plastic bags, and with this initiative now adopted across the UK, figures show a very encouraging reduction in the use of single use plastic bags. We in Wales should now be looking at banning polystyrene and other non-recyclable plastic takeaway food containers, following the example of Oxford, which last year became the first UK city to ban them. Replacing such containers with recyclable or biodegradable alternatives will help us reduce the volume of rubbish going to landfill. And the leadership certainly needs to come from Wales as it is sadly lacking from the UK Government.
I say that because amidst the loud public reaction to some of the ministerial appointments made by the new Prime Minister in July, her abolition of the Department for Energy and Climate Change received little attention. But as we return to Parliament this week, I shall certainly working with colleagues to do all we can to make sure that these really important issues get the ministerial attention and parliamentary scrutiny that they need.