Proposals to reduce plastic pollution through a ban on the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in Scotland have opened for public consultation.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:
“The SNP Government has shown environmental leadership by becoming the first in the UK to propose banning the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Protecting our seas and oceans from the blight of plastic pollution is of immense importance and we recognise the need to act when the health of our marine environment is threatened. Plastic-stemmed cotton buds enter our waters and litter our beaches needlessly. Our intention is to introduce legislation to ban these products and the first stage of this process is to consult on the proposal.
“I encourage any organisation or individual with an interest in safeguarding our marine environment to respond to this consultation which outlines the issue and asks if the proposal is supported as well as considers any commercial implications.
“This is part of a range of Scottish Government measures to help tackle the scourge of plastics polluting our marine environment and littering our streets. In addition to our National Litter and Marine Litter strategies we are introducing a deposit return scheme to recycle more drinks containers, committing £500,000 to help address marine litter sinks and establishing an expert panel to advise us on our work to reduce our reliance on single-use items.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“As is so often the case, our ability to act is limited by the paucity of the devolution settlement, which leaves so many powers in this area with Westminster. Nevertheless, given the millions of plastic-stemmed cotton buds littering our seas and beaches, this is still a welcome and essential step forward.”
Following the eight-week consultation period legislative proposals will be brought forward for scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament.
Consultation available to view.
The consultation closes 22 June 2018.