How can you have your say on the future of single use plastics in Scotland?

Have you organised all your Christmas gifts? Perhaps you might consider one more? What about giving a gift to our beautiful planet? We are all making small changes to reduce our consumption of single use plastics. But wouldn’t it be great if the Government played its part too? Well, the Scottish Government is considering doing just that.

The Scottish Government is currently doing a public consultation on their plans to ban commonly used single use plastics. Friends of the Earth Scotland have created a simplified response form, making it easier for you to have your say.  

The final date for submissions is 4th January 2021. This is your chance to give your views on their proposals

Plastic represents 20% of all terrestrial litter in Scotland, and it is the most commonly found litter item on Scottish beaches with nine out of the top ten items containing plastic. (

Each year, in Scotland, we use 50 million plastic plates and 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery. So eliminating these products will have a hugely positive effect on our environment. (Friends of the Earth Scotland)

This consultation proposes the introduction of market restrictions – effectively a ban – on the most commonly littered single-use plastic items found on European beaches. It also considers banning the production of these products in Scotland. 

The proposed items to be banned are: 

  1. Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks)
  2. Single-use plastic plates (plates, trays/platters, bowls)
  3. Single-use plastic straws
  4. Single-use plastic beverage stirrers
  5. Single-use plastic balloon sticks
  6. Single-use food containers made of expanded polystyrene
  7. Single-use cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids
  8. All oxo-degradable products

Oxo-degradable products are made from fossil fuel plastics with additives to break them down. They are often described as degradable or compostable. In truth, however, the plastic remains but in tiny fragments. ( )

Whilst this is a relatively small list of single use plastic pollutants, I think it will be a great step forward for Scotland if these proposals go ahead. I personally think a Scotland free from polystyrene food containers would be just wonderful. And what the consultation doesn’t mention is the potential health benefits. Ever wondered about the fact that your chips have melted the inside of the polystyrene box? Yeah, you’re probably consuming polystyrene.

I’ve submitted my response. Will you consider doing the same? Please hurry. The deadline is 4 January 2021.

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