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Scotland to enforce ban on single-use plastic items from June 2022

Scotland will be the first UK nation to pursue a ban on single-use plastic, one of the most problematic plastic products.

Plastic pollution
Volunteers with Greenpeace Philippines clean up a heavily polluted beach in Manila. Photo credit:

Legislation has been put in place to ensure Scotland’s use of various plastic items will be abolished in efforts to crack down on plastic waste.

The ban will apply to plastic cutlery, plates, straws, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks; food containers made of expanded polystyrene; and cups and other beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene.

Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slater, said: “We are turning promise into action and banning some of the most problematic single-use plastic items in Scotland.

“Every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of single-use plastic are wasted in this country. They litter our coasts, pollute our oceans and contribute to the climate emergency.

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“That has to end and this ban will be another step forward in the fight against plastic waste and throwaway culture. This is another example of the sort of bold action that is needed if we are to deliver on the commitments that are being made at COP26.

“Crucially, the legislation includes exemptions for single-use plastic straws, to make sure that those who need them for independent living or medical purposes can still get access to them.

“However, the ban is at risk from the UK Internal Market Act, which effectively exempts any items that are produced in or imported via another part of the UK.  I will be writing to the UK government to ask that they take the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of this ban.”

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By Olivia Story, Climate Action


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