Responding to the news that the Scottish Government is banning single use coffee cups in its main buildings from June, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government taking this important symbolic step in banning disposable cups from their offices. Like the proposed ban on plastic cotton bud sticks this sends out a really positive message about the need to tackle the growing tide of plastic pollution.

“However, the scale of the task ahead to truly address the root causes of plastic pollution and stop adding to the mountains of waste in our environment is very large indeed. Plastics, and single use plastics, have become part of everyday life and it can be really difficult to avoid using them. Plastics pollution is all too often simply one end of a long, environmentally damaging journey from resource extraction to litter on our beaches. The plastics crisis is linked to the climate crisis, with most plastics manufactured from fossil fuel feedstocks.

“Solving the problem of plastic pollution requires a holistic approach, it means re-imaging our economy and moving to a fully circular model. It means focussing on waste reduction first, and avoiding alternatives that have other damaging environmental impacts.

“Scottish Government commitments so far to introduce a deposit and return scheme for bottles and cans, a ban on plastic cotton buds, to phase out of non-recyclable plastics by 2030 put us on the right track.

“We urge the Scottish Government to explore legislative options to push manufacturers, retailers and consumers into saying goodbye to unnecessary plastics and making truly sustainable choices instead.”


  1. The Scottish Government is banning single-use coffee cups in its main buildings in a bid to cut plastic pollution. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44296386
  2. Friends of the Earth Scotland have been encouraging people to take the #PlasticFreeFriday pledge where they commit to reduce their use of plastic and to completely avoid single-use plastics on Fridays. https://act.foe.scot/plastic-free-pledge
  3. 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
  4. 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.