For those of you that know me you'll know that Wales is very close to my heart.
I was born there, grew up there and my passion for leeks, dragons, daffodils and rugby has been instilled in me from a young age. Even though I now live in Australia (but funnily enough in New South Wales - there's always a connection somehow!) I am today super proud of my fellow welshmen. In just 14 days time they'll be making a huge step towards reducing the amount of plastic waste in our ocean.
The Welsh Government say they want to drastically reduce the number of bags given away. From 1st October, if you shop in Wales you'll no longer be able to get a plastic bag for free. You'll have to pay for one - 5p for each one to be exact. And they'll redirect this money to local environmental projects.
One of the biggest items collected globally out of our oceans and waterways is the plastic bag. No matter where you live or dive, we see them everywhere.
80% of the plastic and trash that finds its way into our oceans comes from the land. It takes about five years for garbage from the west coast of the United States to make it to the Pacific Gyre and about one year from Asia. Plastic debris in the ocean doesn't biodegrade. It photodegrades, meaning sunlight and water break it down to smaller and smaller pieces that are mistaken for food by fish, sea birds and marine mammals.
More than 260 species of marine animals are affected by plastic debris in the ocean, either by ingestion or entanglement. Sea turtles, seals, whales and many species of fish have been found with large amounts of plastic in their stomachs. No creature is spared!
I'm sure they'll be some critics of the Welsh scheme. But for me, any step towards a decrease in plastic usage has got to be a good one. So go for it Wales - let's hope others follow.
You can find out more about the initiative at www.carrierbagchargewales.gov.uk