Figures released today by WRAP show plastic usage in Scotland dropped from 193.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 64.6 million during the same period in 2014. Commenting on the figures, Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon,

“The Carrier Bag Charge has resulted in a drop in usage of 147 million bags last year. The overwhelming success of this scheme shows a fantastic return for a relatively small financial and political investment.

“147 million less plastic bags being used is welcome news for our environment and demonstrates the willingness of the Scottish public to change habits for the better.

Dr Dixon continued
“These figures represent almost 150 million bags not ending up in our waterways, stuffed in drawers or ending up in landfill. The Government should be emboldened to explore further ways to reduce our needless waste of resources such as a Deposit Return Scheme or curbing unnecessary packaging.

“The encouraging response of the public, business and other stakeholders commends the approach taken. We would encourage the Scottish Government to work with these groups to develop new initiatives that will set us on the path towards a Zero Waste Scotland. “

Notes to Editors

Scottish Government announcement http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Bags-of-difference-1b68.aspx

MSPs consider deposit-and-return scheme for empty bottles and cans.
STV, 14 May 2015. http://news.stv.tv/scotland/1320539-msps-consider-deposit-and-return-sch…

Drinks Cash Deposit Scheme in Scotland – New Report Explores Options Zero Waste Scotland, May 2015

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.