Scotland to Ban Single Use Plastics

Scotland to ban single use plastics

Following their commitments made at COP26, the Scottish Government have announced that new regulations will come into effect on 1st June 2022, banning the manufacture or supply of certain single use plastics. The legislation will make it an offence to manufacture or supply, “in the course of business,” some of the most environmentally damaging single-use plastic items such as:

  • Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks)
  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic straws (can be supplied in particular settings and circumstances)
  • Beverage stirrers
  • Balloon sticks (can be supplied in particular settings and circumstances)
  • Expanded polystyrene beverage cups, including their covers and lids
  • Expanded polystyrene beverage containers
  • Expanded polystyrene food containers

The new legislation prohibits the supply of the above items “in the course of a business” except where exemptions apply. This means that businesses and individuals operating a business, cannot supply the items as part of their business activities. This would include selling the items or distributing the items by any other means, such as giving them out for free.

Businesses that will impacted by the new regulations are being encouraged to think about managing their existing stock levels of the banned items, in order to avoid waste. They are also being encouraged to switch to more environmentally conscious alternatives as soon as possible.

Zero-waste Scotland has encouraged the change in legislation but warns that simply switching to different single-use items, made of non-banned materials, will lead to other negative environmental impacts.

Scotland is the first UK nation to pursue the ban. However, products which are produced or first imported into another part of the UK, and therefore legally supplied in those parts, will not be subject to the new legislation.

A person or business who commits an offence under this regulation is liable to have to pay a fine of up to £5,000.

You can read a draft of the regulation here and find more information about the impact of the new legislation here.

You can stay up to date with legislation changes here.

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