Scottish ministers to tackle throw-away culture

Ministers in Scotland are to consider the introduction of an additional charge to help cut down on the estimated 200 million single-use coffee cups used every year in the country.

Applying a charge of at least 20p to 25p on every disposable cup is one of the recommendations put forward by an expert panel to encourage more use of reusable alternatives. The panel also advises that promoting cultural and behavioural change is critical and will underpin the success of implementing any of the other measures recommended.

The recommendations relate to five key themes: developing a culture of sustainability; prevention; promoting reuse; recycling; and gathering evidence and analysis.

Welcoming the report, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Disposable cups present an obvious littering issue, but there is ever-growing awareness within our society of the impact single-use plastic has on our wider environment. The scale of the issue is also clear – as is the Expert Panel’s conclusion that no one measure alone will be effective: our approach to reducing single-cup use must involve a joined-up effort across government, business, communities and individuals.”

“I am grateful to the Expert Panel for their thorough, evidence-based assessment of measures to reduce the consumption of single-use cups in Scotland. I will be giving the report’s findings my full consideration and will respond to the Panel’s recommendations in due course.”