Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomed the announcement today of an Expert Panel, headed by Dame Sue Bruce, to tackle the problem of plastic pollution.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“We welcome the announcement of the Expert Panel and the leadership the Scottish Government has shown to date on tackling plastic pollution. Commitments so far to introduce a deposit and return scheme for bottles and cans, a ban on plastic cotton buds, and the phase out of non-recyclable plastics by 2030 put us on the right track.

“However there is a huge task ahead to address the root causes of the plastics problem and find solutions that don’t simply shift the damaging impacts elsewhere.

“Plastics pollution is all too often simply one end of a long, environmentally damaging journey from resource extraction to litter on our beaches. The increase in single use plastics has coincided with a growing culture of hyper-consumerism, detrimentally impacting people and environments worldwide. As Europeans, we consume far more than our fair share of the Earth’s resources, far overstepping planetary boundaries.
The plastics crisis is intrinsically linked to the climate crisis, with the vast majority of plastics derived from fossil fuels, including fracked gas.

“The Expert Panel and the Scottish Government must therefore take a holistic, joined up approach to tackling the growing tide of plastic. Solutions must be focused first on waste reduction and on developing a truly circular economy, with pressure brought to bear on manufacturers and retailers to fundamentally change their business models.”


Notes to editors

  1. Scottish Government announcement of Expert Panel to tackle plastic pollution is at https://news.gov.scot/news/fight-against-throwaway-culture
  2. Our Parliamentary briefing on Stemming the Plastic Tide is at https://foe.scot/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/FoES-briefing-Plastics-Feb-2018-web.pdf
  3. 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.