In an exciting announcement in the effort to reduce pollution, Scotland is ready to become the first UK country to ban plastic straws in an effort to cut down on single-use plastics.
The Scottish government’s announcement comes shortly after already announcing that they will be banning the sale and manufacturing of plastic cotton buds. With the ban on straws and cotton buds, two of the biggest polluters will be banned.
Concern of the damage caused by plastic waste on marine life is becoming more apparent, especially after the issue was brought to light by BBC’s Blue Planet II.
The use of plastic straws were banned in Scottish Parliament in early February and the Scottish Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, has said the ban is set to be extended to the whole country.
Cunningham states that the country will see cotton buds phased out by the end of 2018 and a plastic straw ban entering into law by the end of 2019.
“I would strongly encourage the big manufacturers of straws that the writing is on the wall and they need to be thinking about alternatives now,” she said.
A spokesperson from the Scottish Government said: “We are committed to ending Scotland’s throwaway culture and are considering how we can reduce single-use items like plastic straws.
“There are obviously a number of legislative, financial and accessibility issues to consider when it comes to banning plastic straws, however it is our intention that we will be in a position to confirm definitive plans over the coming months.”
The Scottish Government will appoint an expert panel to advise on methods to reduce single-use items, including the introduction of charges.
Plans are already being though of to have alternatives available to replace plastic straws where necessary and Cunningham noted the speed of the process would be accelerated if there were no plastic straw manufacturers in Scotland.
“It’s about making sure plastic straws are off the shelves and out of the takeaways and diners – and what’s in their place is suitable and recyclable,” she said.
Cunningham continued to express the pressure that will be put on all single use plastic
“I would hope to have, by the end of this parliament, more than just plastic cotton buds and straws done,” she said.
“It’s a continuing process.”