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Single use plastic legislation

We have welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government to implement a ban on some of the most problematic single use plastic products, including plastic cutlery, plates, straws, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks, along with food containers, cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene. We are pleased that Scotland is taking the lead as the first nation in the UK to commit to banning these products, with the ban due to come into effect in June 2022.

We view the ban of these products as another step forward in tackling the unsustainable consumption that is driving the climate emergency and looming litter emergency. In our response to the consultation on the Draft Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 we noted our support for restrictions on such products as a result of the harmful impacts these single use plastic items have been shown to have on different aspects of our environment. We are supportive of the banning of these items as their removal from circulation will contribute towards tackling Scotland’s terrestrial litter problem and in turn reduce the quantity of marine litter which makes the destructive journey to our seas and beaches, via our rivers, streams and gutters. Finally, our consultation response noted our view that market restrictions on these products is an essential first step in our transition towards more sustainable models of consumption, with measures like these helping to raise the profile of wider issues relating to our consumption patterns.

It will be essential that all new measures are supported by messaging and campaign activity to achieve the transition and change in behaviours that will be required by consumers. We look forward to continuing to play our part through delivering our own campaigns along with working with a range of partners to support consumers to understand and adapt to the forthcoming changes.

16 November 2021

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