Rural and Environment
Single-use plastic ban
Scotland’s ban on single-use plastic products ban has become fully effective today (12 August 2022).
The Scottish Government’s ban on many of the most damaging single-use plastic products came into force on 1 June 2022.
However, the ban had been under threat from the UK Internal Market Act. The Act, which no devolved legislature consented to, would have rendered the ban ineffective as businesses in Scotland would have been able to supply banned items that originated from the rest of the UK.
Following repeated calls from Scottish Ministers, the UK Government signed a statutory instrument last month, which excludes the regulations from the Act. Now that the UK Government has concluded the legislative procedures, the ban is fully effective.
Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said:
“Banning many of the most problematic single-use plastic items in Scotland is an important step in the fight against waste. By choosing reusable alternatives, we can all help decrease litter and cut emissions. I look forward to seeing businesses all across Scotland make the switch to sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics.”
Under the ban, it is an offence for businesses in Scotland to supply single-use plastic items:
- plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks), plates, straws (subject to exemptions), beverage stirrers and balloon sticks (subject to exemptions);
- food containers made of expanded polystyrene; and
- cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids.
Zero Waste Scotland has produced guidance on how businesses can prepare for the ban.