Reacting to news that the Scottish Government will be part of the EU phase out of single use plastic by 2030, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This is excellent news, the Scottish Government is making great strides with this strong signal of intent to stop plastic waste at source. The plastic bag charge has worked very well, the new ban on plastic cotton buds is a bold move and the forthcoming deposit and return scheme will make a big difference to recycling rates for bottles and cans. The new commitment to be part of the European phase out of single use plastics by 2030, Brexit or no Brexit, is the strongest possible statement that we are serious about getting rid of plastic.”

Last week the EU launch a plastics strategy aiming to phase out single use plastic – like carrier bags, coffee cups and plastic cutlery – by 2030. On 10th January Theresa May launched a 25-year environment plan with a pledge to eradicate “avoidable plastic waste” by 2042.

Dr Dixon continued:

“Shocking images of bird and turtles suffering because of the plastic rubbish that ends up in our oceans have created a big appetite for a crackdown on plastics. It makes sense to work together across Europe to phase out plastics. After the disappointment of the recent lacklustre UK environment plan Theresa May’s government should match this commitment for much more rapid action on plastic.

“At the same time as the public has become acutely conscious of the awful consequences of our wasteful use of plastics, Ineos plan to make even more here in Scotland. A much more sensible plan for the skilled work force at the Grangemouth installations would be to create there the plastics recycling plant that Scotland urgently needs. The Scottish Government should take a lead in making this transition happen.”

As well as Scottish Government action on carrier bags, cotton buds and drinks’ cans and bottles, there is already community activity on phasing out plastic straws, in France there is a ban on plastic cutlery, cups and plates and the world’s biggest market China banned thin single use plastic bags in 2008.

Notes to Editors

  1. The new commitment was revealed in the Sunday Herald  http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15886304.Scotland_to_ban_single_use_plastics_by_2030/
  2. Reaction to the European plan http://www.foeeurope.org/european-commission-steps-reduce-plastic-pollution-160118
  3. Theresa May announced on 10th January that the UK will eradicate “avoidable plastic waste” by 2042. On the same day Scotland’s Environment Secretary announced a ban on plastic cotton buds. https://foe.scot/press-release/welcome-cotton-bud-ban/
  4. An new Scottish campaign to reduce plastic waste from supermarkets launched last week: http://plasticfreescotland.org/
  5. 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.