Sesiwn Dystiolaeth: P-04-547 Gwahardd Deunydd Pacio Polystyren ar gyfer Bwyd a Diod Cyflym
Evidence Session: P-04-547 Ban Polystyrene (EPS) Fast Food and Drinks Packaging


[133]       William Powell: Croeso. You are most welcome this morning. We move now to agenda item 4, our evidence session on petition P-04-547, Ban Polystyrene (EPS) Fast Food and Drinks Packaging, submitted by Friends of Barry Beaches and first considered on 29 April 2014. It’s got the support of 295 signatures. I’m very happy to welcome Rob Curtis, the chairman of Friends of Barry Beaches and colleague Gill Bell, to contribute to our deliberations on this petition, which, I think it’s fair to say, has captured our imaginations. It is, indeed, a matter that was recently discussed in the margins of a committee meeting by our sister committee, the Environment and Sustainability Committee, looking at issues around marine litter, which is again highly relevant.




[134]       So, I’d ask you please to introduce yourself for the record and to make any opening remarks that you wish. Then we’ve got quite a number of questions that we’d like to run past you. Over to you.


[135]       Mr Curtis: Do I just press that, yes?


[136]       Mr George: You don’t need to.


[137]       William Powell: No, it’s absolutely hands-free.


[138]       Mr Curtis: I’m glad that I’ve brought the Barrybados weather here as well today. I’d like to start off by just handing out some information. It’s from a quality newspaper, The Guardian, but one is on New York—if I pass these around—and one is on the cancer concerns of polystyrene. What I would urge you to do is spend some time on the New York information, because that’s some of the latest information talking about the city of New York and their commitment to ban polystyrene single-use cartons by 1 July this year. I think that’s very, very relevant, because this is the first time that a very major city of 8 million people have committed to doing this policy. Just to make sure that there is no confusion, I’ve brought some presents from Barry as well, just to show the committee the type of thing that we’re talking about.


[139]       William Powell: The witness is bearing gifts.


[140]       Mr Curtis: Yes. Barry boys bearing gifts. Now, the first is a compostable food wrapper, and the second item is the polystyrene containers that we’re trying to get banned. I think the difference is, when we’re on the beaches at Barry—we do our monthly litter picks—time and time again those polystyrene ones are always there. They’re always there because the fast food outlets are just packaging everything in polystyrene. But the major players now—the McDonald’s of the world, Burger King and KFC—have all converted to cardboard, and that is compostable. That is so important because polystyrene is a finite item. It’s made of oil, and lasts tens—if not hundreds—of years in the environment. I know Gill, from the Marine Conservation Society, will talk more about that. So, the petition was brought about mainly because we were just sick and tired of picking up this item, day in, day out. If ever anyone’s visited Barry island—


[141]       William Powell: Happy memories.


[142]       Mr Curtis: At the end of the day, you will see literally thousands of those polystyrene cartons left on the beach. Now, people might say, ‘Why don’t the council clear them up?’, but the problem is you have people sitting on that beach until way after the sun sets, on good days, such as today. The council then cleans the beaches at 6.00 a.m.—in the morning—but in between that time the tides come in, taking all that rubbish and polystyrene out to the marine environment.


[143]       William Powell: Absolutely. Yes.


[144]       Mr Curtis: So, it doesn’t disappear. It just goes into that marine environment. We just felt that it’s about time that we could design this waste stream out of the system. You know, what we want you to do is either ban it, as New York is going to do on 1 July, or, as you did with the single-use plastic bags, put a charge on each item. So, the cost to the environment is truly delivered to the traders that are giving away these things. As I said, our aim is to try to design this stuff out of the system. That’s the simplest way to do it. Towards zero waste: you’ve got it in your own policies—that’s what you wish to do. I know one of the key reasons that New York is banning polystyrene is because they’re trying to compost most of their compostable waste, but if you have chips in a polystyrene carton and you put it into a bin, that’s useless, because you cannot separate those two things. Recycling of polystyrene is notoriously low throughout the world, not just in Wales. I don’t think there’s any active recycling of polystyrene in Wales at the moment. But, if you add cardboard, then that cardboard container could go in with the chips and it’s fully compostable. Cardboard, once it goes into the sea or a stream or a river, will compost and just go into tiny bits of wood, and that’s a natural material.


[145]       I’ll finish really just by saying that our aim is to try and get cleaner towns, a cleaner countryside and a cleaner marine environment. I know that this product will either be banned or phased out; I’ve got no doubt on that. It’s whether Wales wants to be one of the leading countries that does that, or whether we follow everyone else. I believe that you should have the initiative and the courage to actually be out there trying to ban this stuff for a start. Thank you, Chair.


[146]       William Powell: Thank you very much indeed for making such a compelling case, and indeed for bringing some realia here to remind us of exactly what is causing the problem, because there’s nothing like having something in hand as a physical reminder of that. I’d just like to ask you to indicate, if you will, your preference as to whether you want to go down the route of a ban, or whether you would advocate more the approach around the implementation of some sort of levy, such as you’ve referenced in terms of the groundbreaking single-use carrier bag charge? Which do you feel would be your preferred approach, if indeed you have one—or perhaps you’re agnostic on that? It would be useful to have a steer from you as to which way you’d like to see Wales going.


[147]       Mr Curtis: My preference would be as New York and numerous other US and European cities have managed to do, and that’s a complete ban on single-use food items, so it’s the coffee cups, and the chip containers. So, you just ban them from the system. That would be the simplest. Otherwise, if you just put the 5p tax on it, you will have the difficulty of collecting that tax, and you will have the difficulty of traders still giving out polystyrene and not charging the 5p. So, my preference would be as New York is doing, and I’ve got no doubt that—it’s a city of 8 million people and Wales has 3 million people—we’re quite capable of doing that. So, that would be my preference.


[148]       William Powell: Okay, thank you. Gill?


[149]       Ms Bell: I would just like to add that we would like it to be compostable. We have to be careful with the word ‘biodegradable’, because some biodegradable materials do still contain plastic, but the bonds between them break down, so there is still some plastic in some things that are termed ‘biodegradable’. So, the alternative should be compostable. We would also add to that not only fast-food wrappers, but also any of the utensils that are used, because a lot of those are plastic, and again that’s a resource that shouldn’t really be a single-use item because of the length of time it will remain in the environment.


[150]       I’ve got lots of statistics and things for you, if you’d like to know about them. We’ve got a lot on the impacts, the amounts of litter, and the legislation. From our point of view, we would like to see Wales as in ‘The Wales We Want’, which was just produced, as you know, last week.


[151]       William Powell: Absolutely, launched just last week.


[152]       Ms Bell: It does say in No. 3, ‘Living within global environmental limits, managing our resources efficiently and valuing our environment is critical’, and I would like to see Wales become a leader and be the first in Europe to ban polystyrene and fast-food waste on single-use items, such as the utensils and the fast-food cups and things like that, because, as Rob says, they’re a blight on our beaches. You’re aware, as I’ve presented to you, about the amount of litter on Welsh beaches, unfortunately. It is staggeringly high compared to the rest of the UK, and this would be a real incentive and would put Wales on the map, demonstrating how much commitment you have. You have a commitment now to an ecosystem-based approach and to take a more holistic approach, and so I think that this would demonstrate to Europe that Wales was at the forefront of this.


[153]       William Powell: Absolutely. It couldn’t be more timely that this evidence session takes place today, obviously, in the context of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill debate just later this afternoon, and obviously the contribution that ‘The Wales We Want’ has had to that has been considerable.


[154]       One further brief question from me, and then I’ve got a number of indications from colleagues. My second question is whether, in your view, local authorities are using currently the statutory instruments available to them that were listed by the Minister in his response to the petition, and also whether or not it is your view that there is any effectiveness in that approach. I suspect I know the answer, but I’m asking anyway.


[155]       Mr Curtis: Well, no. I think that local authorities are doing their best with this tide of polystyrene and plastic and other waste, but I think it really would help local authorities to just design this from the start, so that this waste is not hitting our beaches, not hitting our streets. You walk down Cardiff, and it’ll be full of polystyrene. It means that people have got to go out there and pick up that polystyrene. Again, if it was cardboard items, you know, within a few months, they will biodegrade. So, I would definitely go for that. I don’t think that local authorities have got enough money and I think they’re facing a tough time as it is, and I really feel that if we could design this out from the start, then that would solve the situation.


[156]       Ms Bell: I think we should go on to the plastic bag levy. Obviously, we could instigate behavioural change and people could take their own bags with fast food, but the idea is that it’s fast food, and you don’t carry your own Tupperware around to go and get your fast food in. So, it’s difficult. Obviously, we want to see the littering decreased, but with fast-food litter, we would like to see the councils instigate more fixed-penalty notices for littering, to decrease the amount of littering. For those who do dispose of the wrappings illegally, and for accidental disposal, then at least if they were compostable, as Rob has indicated, they would then be able to biodegrade. What we’re talking about, the polystyrene, will be around in the environment for a very long time and it has serious impacts right the way down the food chain, right the way from the tiny little filter feeders. Polystyrene will break down into smaller and smaller pieces. When it has a bigger surface area, all the toxins and pollutants stick to them and then, when the animals eat them, they then get infected with all the toxins as well. So, it affects right the way down the food chain, and by the time you get up to the top predators, it’s concentrated within them.


[157]       So, we have the ability now, if Wales could ban polystyrene outright, and then implement, perhaps if need be, a levy, because the alternatives may be slightly more expensive. But, obviously, demand drives that, and if we were to instigate having a ban on polystyrene, then hopefully, the cost of the alternatives would come down. It would then be easier to police because you would have this ban outright rather than having a levy where you would have to try and investigate who was giving out compostables. If you just had a levy on the polystyrene, that wouldn’t actually change behaviour and change them from giving out the polystyrene; they would just pass on that levy to the consumer and it wouldn’t actually have an impact. So, if there was to be a levy, it would need to incentivise having a compostable scheme and disincentivise having polystyrene given out.


[158]       William Powell: So, it’s somewhat more complex than was the case in terms of the single-use carrier bag. Joyce Watson has indicated and then Russell George.


[159]       Joyce Watson: Thank you. Your passion is matched by your enthusiasm in this, which I share actually. I wanted to ask the question about compostable cardboard and plastics, so you’ve already answered that question for me. I’d like to know what other EU cities have done this, because I think that would be useful for us to know, because that’s a bit closer to home for us to examine and to look at. I particularly want to get across this message that the litter that finds itself on the land doesn’t stay on the land; it finds its way very quickly into the sea in the way that you’ve just described. I would like you to make some further comments, if you like, about the effect that that has because, at the same time, we’re looking at our marines and fishery policy, and I think we need to do some joined-up thinking here. So, if you would assist with that, please.


[160]       Ms Bell: Okay. As far as I’m aware, there are no other European countries that have banned polystyrene, so Wales would be the first to do that. There is a little bit about the legislation, in that there’s a packaging directive, which indicates that all packaging should be able to circulate freely within the European Union.




[161]       However, within that directive, there is an expression within it that, for community objectives, you can justify certain limitations on the principle of free movement of goods, so you can put limitations within that. So, I don’t think any other European country has done this. Oxford City Council recently tried to do it, within, and they were advised that they would be breaking EU law, but I’ve actually consulted some environmental lawyers, and they have indicated that, although there is this ‘to circulate freely’ all packaging, so, therefore, if you’re banning polystyrene, you’re not allowing free circulation within Wales of this material, there is this overriding principle where environmental objectives can be taken, and used as an example, too.


[162]       With regard to the plastic bag levy or tax, obviously, you have the ability to apply a levy, and that’s not at an EU level. The ban is generally at an EU level, but they’re actually amending the packaging directive now to take into account plastic bags, because so many countries have implemented a tax on plastic bags. So, it is slightly more complex, in that none of the European countries so far have implemented it, but I believe that Wales can, and I would think that you should set an example, and be the first to do so.


[163]       Joyce Watson: I thought you said EU cities. You did say that.


[164]       Mr Curtis: Could I just add as well that, when we put the petition together, we were doing our research, and we did find some European cities had done it?


[165]       William Powell: That would be really helpful—thank you.


[166]       Mr Curtis: I haven’t got that list at the moment, but I can certainly forward to the committee the list as well, because that’s on the internet. So, that’s where we got that information from. So, I’ll forward it. But no countries have done it.


[167]       Ms Bell: Yes, because you can do it at a local level—the packaging directive says it can be done at a local level, but not on a country-wide level, so sorry if I wasn’t clear on that.


[168]       With regard to the impacts, do you want to be really depressed? We’ve seen a trebling of the amount of polystyrene fast-food litter on beaches in the last 10 years, from our beach-watch data. Fast food makes up about 5 per cent to 10 per cent of that polystyrene waste, which, on average, for the last 10 years, is about 20 items per kilometre that you walk along on every beach. That’s just the fast food that we can identify. Polystyrene pieces—so, the breakdown of this polystyrene—make up between 50 per cent and 75 per cent, and you’ve got between 120 and 280 items per kilometre of tiny little pieces of polystyrene. Now, obviously, it will break down—it breaks down into smaller pieces.


[169]       I don’t know if any of you are aware, but, obviously, a lot of the animals can’t differentiate between what’s a food item. As I’ve just briefly mentioned, there’s a lot of evidence that indicates that the marine debris can impact animals in four main ways. They can get entangled in it, or they can ingest it, and when they ingest it, there are four ways: one, it blocks their stomach, so that they can’t actually pass any further food, and that will kill them, because, obviously, they’re not digesting anything; it can make them feel full, because their stomach’s full of plastic, and then they’re eating less, and they get ill; it can pass through the gut, and it damages the gut, because it’s a hard material, and your gut’s very sensitive, to be able to absorb things; but also there’s the toxicity effect. They’ve been looking at this and it’s quite difficult to differentiate in some of the evidence between plastics and polystyrene, which is why we would advocate all plastic fast food and single-use items are banned within this, if we could.


[170]       But we do know that it’s demonstrated right the way from things from plankton and barnacles to fish. I personally have worked on harbour porpoise blubber, and have seen that they become immuno-compromised, which means that, basically, their immune system is compromised because of all the toxins that they’ve taken. Now, these things like PCBs, PAHs—all the persistent organic chlorines, persistent organic materials—they’re all artificial materials that we’ve made. They’re very difficult to biodegrade, if they do biodegrade, and they have long-term effects. We know that at least 700 species have been affected by ingesting entanglements; 17 of these are on the red list, and, of these, about 92 per cent of those had ingested plastic.


[171]       We do see a decrease in reproduction. We see embryonic development issues, abnormalities. They affect the cellular membranes, because the pollutants themselves don’t like to be in water, they like to stick to something like the plastic, so they like to stick to cell membranes, which are lipids. So, the whole cell structure gets affected from that. They have neuro-toxic effects, because they’re toxins, and, from that, we’re then seeing potentially that they have genetic effects, right the way through, so we’re talking about right the way from the cellular level of the very bottom of the food chain, and this is then concentrated up.


[172]       In the work I did on the harbour porpoise, we saw that what happened was that they were more predisposed to getting an infectious disease that would kill them. Normally, what would happen, when you have a look at these statistics, is that you would say, ‘Oh, well, we’ve got no control on that. We don’t know which animals have died from infectious disease mortality, as it’s called, or those that were healthy, and how do we know?’ But, with the harbour porpoise work that we did, because they were caught as bycatch—accidental catch in fishing nets—those were deemed to be healthy animals, and so we could say conclusively that these were affected by the toxins, and it was particularly PCBs that I looked at. It collects in their fat, and when the fat is metabolised to feed the offspring, it’s transferred directly to their offspring. So, the new calves are born with the pollutants already in them before they’ve even, you know, come out. And then it’s passed in the milk as well.


[173]       William Powell: Thank you very much. Joyce.


[174]       Joyce Watson: Just one small question, following on from that, and we’ll have to have a brief answer, I’m afraid: can it find its way into the food chain? You said that it starts at the very bottom of that food chain, and therefore the fish feed on it, and so it goes on. I’ve seen some evidence that it’s coming into the food chain. Do you concur that that is the case?


[175]       Ms Bell: We do concur—there’s evidence ongoing. One of the things for the regional action plan from OSPAR for marine litter is to:


[176]       ‘investigate the prevalence and impact of expanded polystyrene in the marine environment, and…to reduce its impacts’.


[177]       There is growing evidence that it is impacting, because, as you say, they’re looking at—it’s difficult, obviously, we’re talking about very small animals, but, in laboratory conditions, it’s certainly been demonstrated that it would be, and, as they’re the bottom of the food chain, this would then move up the food chain. There has been some work done in fish, which are obviously higher up the food chain, and they have been demonstrated to have had effects of ingesting plastic and polystyrene. So, there is a growing body of evidence, but, so far, I would say that there isn’t conclusive evidence, but I would say that there’s definitely a growing body of evidence to support that. 


[178]       William Powell: Thank you very much. Russell George.


[179]       Russell George: Thank you, Chair. Your props—the props that were handed around earlier on—I recognise them, unfortunately. I recognise them because I see them in hedges and on roadsides, and sometimes I go and get a takeaway. What I’ve noticed is that the cardboard ones are what you would find from a national chain company, and polystyrene from a small independent shop. So, that indicates to me it’s a local issue. So, it’s the big companies that are best reacting to public pressure and changing their ways. I’m always someone who prefers to change things without creating laws, so I’m just wondering whether it is a local issue. Is that your view as well? What could be done, perhaps, to persuade small businesses—small independents—to change their ways, because, clearly, national companies are, so why aren’t they doing the same? The reason is because the structure’s a bit different and there’s not so much public pressure on them, but, maybe if there was local pressure or if help or support was given to them to look at other options, then perhaps that would be a way of addressing this. What are your views on that, really?


[180]       Mr Curtis: Interesting point, but I’ve got no doubt that New York went through the same process. I’ve got no doubt that there was probably—. I don’t know what their councillors did, or whoever it is who sit there, but I suspect there were people there pointing out, ‘Can we do this in a mild-mannered way and phase it out?’ Obviously, New York came to the decision that that is not the effective way to do it and that, actually, they’ll keep on using Styrofoam because it is such a cheap alternative. So, we need to get the economies of scale in, so that the compostable alternatives compete directly with that Styrofoam. To me, it’s so much better to ban it from the start and then they haven’t got the option of using the wrong thing. You rightly point out that the chains have sat there and they’ve said, ‘Environmentally, we can see that this is dangerous stuff. We can see that this is leading down a dangerous road that we don’t want to go down.’ Because, they can subsequently be taken through litigation and court proceedings. So, they’ve sat there and they’ve made the wise decision, where the smaller companies, as you say, on the high street—and it’s the only thing that you’ll see on the high street—use polystyrene. I’m afraid, if the New York example goes there, I would say it’s easier to ban it from the start.


[181]       Russell George: I’m not disagreeing with you at all; I’m just playing devil’s advocate to work the point through. But, I suppose, if—what you’re saying is correct, it’s cost-effective, it’s cheaper to use polystyrene, so that’s what they’re doing—that was taken away, if it wasn’t cheaper, if either that was made more expensive through some way or the cardboard was made cheaper, then that would go away, in that sense, wouldn’t it? That’s what I’m putting to you to comment on it, I suppose.


[182]       Ms Bell: Can I just comment that, several years ago, DEFRA tried to do this with a food campaign, called Food on the Go? It wasn’t to ban polystyrene, but it was to try and encourage local vendors to have a bin and to keep outside of their shop fronts clear of litter, because, obviously, of all that litter. It failed quite spectacularly because it was only a voluntary measure. So, my experience of that has been that it needs to be national legislation. I do have concerns, obviously, in these economic times, that there was some research done that it may cost more for the vendors to have compostable, but, as I mentioned earlier, if there is a demand, that should bring the price of it down. Also, if that is a major concern for the committee, you could think about introducing a levy and, again, this could cover their cost, like the plastic bag levy.


[183]       What I would hope to see would be, outside of vending places and hotspots where you know that people go, is to have compostable bins. From that, we can look at the whole lifecycle analysis and make sure that this waste—. As Rob quite rightly pointed out, you can’t recycle polystyrene waste. I’m lucky to live in Monmouthshire, which has the highest recycling rates in Wales, but you can’t recycle polystyrene. Even if you could recycle polystyrene, because it’s contaminated with the food waste, you can’t use it. So, what I would like to see is that we have compostable bins, and, obviously, the food contamination then is of benefit because it helps with the compostable.


[184]       So, I think that Wales can make a real change and be the first to do this. I think that, if there are economic considerations, then the Welsh public were fully behind the carrier bag levy and have accepted it very well. One of the recommendations in the UNEP report suggests that, prior to introducing a tax, you develop an effective communication campaign to advertise the rationale behind the tax. So, if we were, obviously, to go down this, we would need to make sure that the Welsh public were aware why we were going to do it. We don’t want to penalise small businesses. They don’t have a corporate social responsibility like the larger ones, which is why they’ve gone down this. So, we need to just make a consideration for them, but we do need to do something about our polystyrene and plastic fast-food single-use wrappers.


[185]       William Powell: Thank you. Bethan Jenkins.


[186]       Bethan Jenkins: I’m going to go back a step again and say we need to have much fewer fast-food outlets on our streets. We did have a petition about trying to stop vans parking outside schools and selling. I think that’s part of the problem, as well, because planning offices are allowing much more fast-food outlets and then that’s creating the possibility of more litter from these particular takeaway outlets. But, that’s just my view. I was just asking why you concentrated on fast food, because, for example, I’ve gone into Neath market and I’ve had some fish and—being posh now—I’ve had some scallops and they put them in a polystyrene thing—


[187]       Russell George: I don’t mind having my—[Inaudible]—if you’re having your scallops.


[188]       Bethan Jenkins: Yes, I know. See, Merthyr girl here—my roots.


[189]       They put cling film over it—I know cling film is another discussion for another day. But, for me, it’s probably not just fast food, because, you know, supermarkets do the same with fish, actually—some of them. So, for me, it wouldn’t be just a ban for single use, it would be across the board. Because, if the health effects are there for fast food, the health effects are there for other outlets as well. So, I just wonder whether it is because you want to target the fast-food area or whether it was something that—


[190]       Ms Bell: I would suggest that you buying a scallop is a single use, because you’re getting that scallop, you’re using it, and then you’re disposing of it. So, that is a single use.


[191]       Bethan Jenkins: But, I don’t eat it like there and then.


[192]       Ms Bell: No, but it is still single use.


[193]       Bethan Jenkins: So, you just define that as single use.


[194]       Ms Bell: About 75 per cent of the waste that we throw away is single use from supermarkets and things like that. Seattle, I believe—I would have to check, but I believe it was Seattle—introduced a ban and they had a reduction of down to two thirds of what they were using in the amount of polystyrene, but they said it would be much lower. It was everything that was imported into the city that was food wrapping, like on meat—the polystyrene things that the meat and things are put in. I would certainly advocate, if Welsh Government could do that, that it would be fantastic. Last year, I did a plastic-free month—I tried to live for a whole month without buying any plastic, and it’s very difficult to do. I’d advocate you trying to do it even just for a day and see how you get on. If you could implement that not only, obviously, for fast-food waste, but for any store that’s dispensing anything—. There’s no need for your mushrooms to be in a plastic container.




[195]       William Powell: Just a final contribution, Rob.


[196]       Mr Curtis: I think Friends of Barry Beaches came at it from the angle of what we were finding on the beaches and the frustration of finding that these cartons, day in day out, just completely getting there. Also, in the knowledge that if you ban things, then it’s a difficult process and it will take time, and legislation gets more complicated the more things that you try to capture in that net, we felt that by picking on one type of item in our society, which we can all see on our streets, in our countryside and on our beaches, it would be the simplest thing for you to do and in the most effective way. Now, from there, you can go on, but this is the first step, as New York are doing.


[197]       Ms Bell: And there’s the UNEP report—to do with the effect of communication—and the third thing that is recommended is to make sure that, when the tax is designed, it has an inbuilt flexibility to adapt to changing economic climates, but it could also adapt to changes, once people have accepted, maybe, fast food, then you could move on from that, because the Welsh public are very supportive of these measures, and they’re very proud, and nobody wants to see this litter. We know that. And if Welsh Government could be demonstrated to be tackling it, I think that it would, you know, they would be in favour of it.


[198]       Mr Curtis: Ironically, even the vendors that sell these admit to me that, ‘Yeah, we know that polystyrene is bad, we now it’s bad for the environment, but, hey, we’re going to carry on doing it until someone tells us not to do it.’


[199]       Bethan Jenkins: And would the cost go down for your cleaning operations then? Does it cost you anything to be disposing of the polystyrene over the other types of things that you pick up?


[200]       Mr Curtis: It does for the councils, because we—.


[201]       Bethan Jenkins: Not for you?


[202]       Mr Curtis: As Friends of Barry Beaches, we remove the polystyrene from the beaches and we just put it into the civic waste stream, for which you then have to pay on landfill tax. So, you are paying, as taxpayers, for the privilege of having a throw-away polystyrene carton chucked on your beach. So, there is a cost.


[203]       William Powell: Diolch yn fawr iawn am y sesiwn ddiddorol y bore yma.

William Powell: Thank you very much for the interesting session this morning.


[204]       It’s been a really powerful evidence session. I think you’ve been a great combination of witnesses as well, and I’ve got a sense that this petition has got quite a lot more life in it. I was going to to speculate as to whether or not you’d be prepared to accept a group of volunteers in the cause of learning more about this, but that may be a subject for another day.


[205]       Mr Curtis: And there’s always an invitation to come down to the beaches of Barry and help us clean up these items.


[206]       William Powell: Absolutely. You’ll receive a full transcript of today’s session to check for accuracy. Gill and Rob, you’ve both referred to additional material that you haven’t been able to cover today. If you could share that with us as a committee, we’ll give it due study and we’ll be back in touch as to how this goes to the next stages of our consideration.


[207]       Diolch yn fawr iawn am ddod heddiw.


Thank you very much for coming today.

[208]       Thank you very much indeed for attending today and for such an excellent session.


[209]       Mr Curtis: Diolch yn fawr iawn.


[210]       Ms Bell: Thank you.