The Scottish Government has announced that it is matching the EU’s commitment to ban single-use plastics by 2030.
According to The Sunday Herald, this decision has been welcomed by environmental campaigners throughout Scotland as the “strongest possible statement that we are serious about getting rid of plastic”.
The EU has recently pledged to make all plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030 in hope of reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans.
Speaking to The Sunday Herald, Scotland’s Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham revealed that she has asked civil servants to examine the restriction of sale and production of all non-recyclable plastics “on an item by item basis” and has urged the UK Government to follow suit.
She said: “The EU has been bold by making that statement and obviously they’ve yet to legislate for that so there’s a process that they will go through which will involve member states. Sadly, of course, if Brexit goes through, it won’t involve the United Kingdom.
“I would very, very much want to support the EU’s position. We will, in Scotland, continue to match the best possible ambition that there is, and particularly match what Brussels is doing.”
She added that the Scottish Government is aware of the issues regarding product standards and taxation, which are not part of its power due to a reserved split, but wants the UK Government to allow these powers, or for the UK to sign up to the EU’s vision.
The Sunday Herald asked the UK Government about the possibility of matching the EU’s 2030 commitment, and a spokesman replied: “We don’t just want to ensure plastic packaging is recyclable, we want to eliminate avoidable plastic waste altogether. We are committed to do more to reduce single-use plastics so that we can be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.”