Campaigners urge the Scottish Government to act quickly and ban single-use plastic items.
Under the EU’s Single-Use Plastic Directive, member states have to introduce restrictions on the sale of some of the most environmentally-harming single-use plastic products by July 2021.
Following this directive, in 2019 the Scottish government announced plans to meet or exceed this target and have since completed a 12-week public consultation which ended on January 4.
More than 1,900 people who took action online via Friends of the Earth were in favour of the government’s plans to ban single-use plastic items, including cutlery, plates, straws and drinks stirrers.
Experts estimate that each year residents in Scotland use an estimated 330 million plastic straws, 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery and 66 million polystyrene food containers.
Campaigners argue that without urgent action millions of more pieces of plastic will end up in landfill or potentially polluting our beaches and waterways.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner Sarah Moyes said: ‘The public response clearly shows that people are concerned about plastic pollution in Scotland and want to see action to tackle these persistent polluters. The knife and fork we use for a quick bite to eat shouldn’t endure beyond our lifetime sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years.
‘Plastic pollutes at every stage of its life cycle from the oil and gas extracted to produce it, to the end products which litter our environment.
‘Scotland could soon be on our way to having communities across the country freed from litter and waste, and that’s why it’s imperative that the Scottish Government moves quickly to ban these polluting plastic items. Even a delay of just six months will lead to hundreds of millions of extra pieces of disposable plastic circulating in Scotland.’
In related news, new research has highlighted that plastics contain and leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can cause cancer, diabetes and reproductive disorders.
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