Scotland has become the first part of the UK to implement a ban on many of the most problematic single-use plastics, as legislation comes into force. The ban means it will be an offence for businesses in Scotland to provide the items – which include plastic cutlery, plates and stirrers.

Around 700 million of these single-use items are currently used in Scotland every year. The regulations come into force following a six month grace period, during which Zero Waste Scotland ran a business campaign to raise awareness on how to prepare.

The legislation, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament during COP26 last year, includes exemptions for single-use plastic straws, to make sure that those who need them for independent living or medical purposes can still access them.


The ban applies to the following single-use items: plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks), plates, straws, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks; food containers made of expanded polystyrene; and cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids.

The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 come into force on 1 June 2022.

More on this story can be found on the Scottish Government website here.

Global plastic waste set to almost triple by 2060, says OECD

In other news, the amount of plastic waste produced globally is on track to almost triple by 2060, with around half ending up in landfill and less than a fifth recycled, according to a new OECD report.

‘Global Plastics Outlook: Policy Scenarios to 2060’ from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that without radical action to curb demand, increase product lifespans and improve waste management and recyclability, plastic pollution will rise in tandem with an almost threefold increase in plastics use driven by rising populations and incomes. The report estimates that almost two-thirds of plastic waste in 2060 will be from short-lived items such as packaging, low-cost products and textiles.

The OECD news piece can be read here and the full report is here.

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