Consultation on restrictions to single-use plastics

The Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation on restrictions to single-use plastics (SUP). The issue of single-use plastics has become a popular concern over the past couple of years and one that has seen much attention in the media and some action already implemented by governments to stem the production of SUP such as cotton buds and microbeads.

Local environmental group Think about Plastic (TAP) is keen to participate in the consultation and chair, Helen How, has already attended a Zoom meeting with Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) to try to gather more information about what ZWS is proposing. TAP are encouraging both individuals, businesses and organisations on Arran to find out more and get involved. The issues are complex and questions remain over what could replace SUP. Bioplastic such as Vegware has become a common replacement in many food outlets and takeaways, as these have been promoted as biodegradable and so more environmentally friendly. However Vegware can take months or longer to break down, and generally end up in the general waste bin. There needs to be some coordinated solutions brought in across many levels. For example facilities which enable compostable materials to be composted (with appropriate temperatures) could form part of a strategy dealing with SUP.

Here is some information from the ZWS website and a link below to the consultation:

Consultation on restrictions to single-use plastics

Four-fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from all the goods we produce, use and often throw out.
As part of a wider package of measures aimed at tackling our throwaway society, the Scottish Government has launched a twelve-week public consultation on the introduction of market restrictions on certain single-use plastic items. Scotland has already taken such action with the existing ban on plastic-stemmed cotton buds and microbeads.

The products included in this consultation are those which are most commonly found as marine litter in Europe. This includes:
• Single-use plastic cutlery;
• Single-use plastic plates;
• Single-use plastic straws;
• Single-use plastic drink stirrers;
• Single-use plastic balloon sticks;
• Single-use expanded polystyrene food containers made of expanded polystyrene;
• Single-use cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene;
• all products made of oxo-degradable plastic*.

The proposals cover a series of products across all the different types of plastic that they can be made from, including ones that are made of plant-based materials and that are biodegradable or compostable, as well as single-use items which contain plastic but also other materials such as plastic-coated paper or plastic-lined cartons.

This action aligns with Article 5 of the EU Directive (EU) 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, known as the Single-Use Plastics Directive.

We’re inviting responses from businesses, organisations, public bodies, community groups and members of the public on the proposals around the introduction of market restrictions. The consultation will ask:

• whether you support the proposals;
• what the economic, environmental and social impacts of implementation may be; and
• where exemptions should apply.

Click here for the link to the consultation

For more information see here and also the ZWS FAQ page here