Scots back single use plastic ban

Independent analysis of a Scottish Government consultation has highlighted an overwhelming majority of support for a ban on the most problematic single-use plastic items in Scotland.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 5:00 pm
Friends of the Earth is delighted that an overwhelming majority of Scots are supportive of the proposed ban on the most problematic single-use plastic items in Scotland.

More than 2600 people responded to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on the proposals which would see a ban on items such as single-use plastic cutlery, plates, balloon sticks and straws – with exemptions for medical use and to support independent living.

Some 94 per cent of those who responded were in favour of a ban on all the specified single-use plastic items, as well as market restrictions on additional single-use plastic items including plastic wet wipes and plastic tampon applicators.

There was also public backing for the reintroduction of the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill which was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Sarah Moyes, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s plastic and circular economy campaigner, said: “It’s clear from this analysis that people in Scotland are hugely supportive of action taken to eliminate the most problematic plastic items from our environment.

“Plastic pollution is a major contributor to climate change and if we want to tackle it then it’s vital we look beyond this list of single-use products and address the fact that Ineos, the biggest producer of plastic in the UK is right on our doorstep.”

The Scottish Government has now published draft regulations on banning single-use items, with legislation due to be introduced later this year. However, it does include an exemption which will allow plastic straws and balloon sticks to still be manufactured in Scotland.

Sarah added: “The draft regulations mean that communities are one step closer to being freed from litter and plastic pollution.

"We hope the Scottish Government is able to move quickly because any delay will result in millions of pieces of plastic being thrown away in Scotland.”

Each year in Scotland, experts estimate we use around 300 million plastic straws, 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery and 66 million polystyrene food containers.