Environment Minister Jane Davidson has asked Welsh Assembly Government officials to start work on legislation to put an end to the use of free one-trip plastic bags in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly Government is the first UK administration is to start work for possible regulation under the provisions of the Climate Change Act to ban plastic bags.
Ms Davidson said: I have always stated that I do not support the use of one-trip plastic bags.
They are not usually bio-degradable and represent a waste of resources.
I have asked my department to develop legislation to end the use of single use carrier bags. Currently there is a voluntary agreement where certain retailers have agreed to reduce the number of single use carrier bags by 50% by May this year this is a good target.
But this does not cover all retailers and still leaves 50% using one trip plastic bags. I recognise we need to give the retail sector a chance to demonstrate what they can do voluntarily, but I am wiling to use all the powers at our disposal.
Her comments come after a visit to packaging firm SCA Packaging in Newport, which has designed an alternative to plastic bags, a recyclable box system.
The Climate Change Act allows the Welsh Assembly Government to ask retailers to impose a charge for carrier bags, should they not meet their single use carrier bag targets.