Plans to ban sale of single-use plastics published
Plans to ban the sale of single-use plastics such as disposable plates and cutlery have been published, with the proposals now open for consultation.
The new legislation aims to restrict the sale or commercial supply of plastic plates, straws, cutlery, polystyrene food and drink containers and products made from oxo-degradable plastics, with Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham warning “There is no longer any doubt that plastic waste is having a hugely damaging impact on our oceans, rivers and land ecosystems”.
Scotland consumes an estimated 300 million plastic straws, 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 50 million plastic plates and 66 million polystyrene food containers each year.
The consultation follows a ban on plastic stemmed cotton buds, introduced last year.
The Scottish Government is now seeking views on the legislation, which is expected in 2021.
Cunningham said: “We must act now to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic and drive forward a move towards more sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternatives.
“Failure to do so is a dereliction of our duty to our children, who will inherit a natural world polluted by the plastics we have thrown away for the sake of convenience.
“This government is committed to tackling this problem. We were the first country in the UK to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plans are well underway for a Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland.
“The proposals published today will take us further - keeping pace with the environmental standards of our European partners and re-affirming our position as a world-leader in the circular economy.
“However, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that the introduction of these measures is carefully considered. It is why we are keen to hear a range of views and I would encourage any individual, business or organisation with an interest to respond to the consultation.”
The consultation will be open for 12 weeks and close on 04 January 2021.