For the Scottish government, it is “imperative” to move quickly to ban single-use plastic products, environmentalists have said.
A alert was given by Friends of the Earth Scotland that a delay of only six months could result in hundreds of millions more products ending up in landfills, such as straws and disposable cutlery.
Following the completion of a Scottish Government consultation, the environmental organization called on ministers to act to discuss the idea of restricting single-use plastic products such as cutlery, bowls, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks.
Sarah Moyes, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s campaign director, emphasized that “the public response clearly demonstrates that people in Scotland are concerned about plastic pollution and want to see action to tackle these persistent polluters.”
Next year, Scotland may ban plastic single-use
“She added: “The knife and fork we use to eat a fast bite does not last beyond our lifespan and have been sitting for hundreds of years in a landfill.
“Plastic pollutes at every stage of its lifecycle, from the oil and gas extracted to make it to the end products that pollute our environment.”
Scottish Government estimates indicate that an estimated 300 million plastic straws, 276 million plastic cutlery bits, 50 million plastic plates and 66 million food containers of polystyrene are used by Scots every year.
Ministers have also committed to compliance with a European Union directive to impose limits on the selling of some of the most polluting single-use plastic goods by July 2021.
As PPE waste rises, Scotland’s beaches are polluted with discarded face masks and gloves.
In Nicola Sturgeon’s 2019-20 government initiative, the commitment was included.
But in the midst of the current coronavirus epidemic, proposals for a Circular Economy Bill, which would have included measures to eliminate litter, have been put on hold.
Ms. Moyes said, amid the pandemic, it was “imperative” for the Scottish government to move urgently to bring an end to the use of single-use plastic – while exceptions may be made for items such as plastic straws that are given for medicinal use and to encourage independent living.
Even a delay of only six months would result in hundreds of millions of extra single-use plastics in circulation in Scotland,”Even a delay of just six months will result in hundreds of millions of extra single-use plastics in circulation in Scotland.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said, “There is no longer any doubt that plastic waste has an extremely detrimental impact on our oceans, rivers and terrestrial ecosystems.”
We are committed to reducing our dependency on single-use plastics and to creating affordable, environmentally-friendly alternatives.
“However, in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, it is important that the introduction of these measures is carefully considered and we will consider the consultation responses and publish our findings shortly.”