Reacting to news that the Scottish Government will ban the sale of plastic cotton buds in Scotland, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This decisive action is great news for the environment and for wildlife. Cotton buds are a very visible sign of our hugely wasteful habits, turning up on beaches across the globe. Manufacturers and supermarkets are already moving in the right direction but this single measure will guarantee that Scotland cuts its contribution to marine plastic pollution in half.

“Following the plastic bag charge and the announcement of a deposit and return scheme for drinks’ bottles and cans, this is another good step on the way to a society which uses resources more sensibly. We look forward to further initiatives when the Government’s promised new group on single-use plastic containers, such as coffee cups, reports its work.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Cotton buds make up about half of all sewage-related debris washed up on UK beaches. https://www.fidra.org.uk/projects/cotton-buds/
  2. BBC News:“Scotland ban announced for plastic cotton buds“ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-42640680
  3. In the Programme for Government in September 2017 the Scottish Government promised to: “go further in our efforts to end the ‘throw-away’ culture, by examining how to reduce demand for single-use items, such as disposable coffee cups. We will appoint an expert panel to advise on the use of charges, similar to the successful plastic bag charge, with the goal of encouraging long-term and sustainable changes in consumer behaviour.”
  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.