Thu 21 Feb, 2019

Plastic pollution has become an environmental emergency in Scotland and around the world. It threatens wildlife, litters our beaches and cities, contributes to climate change and places enormous costs on local councils. Mark Ruskell MSP

The Scottish Greens today (21 Feb) urged Scottish Ministers to set a 25p-per-cup levy on disposable coffee cups to end the "scourge" of plastic pollution.

As part of the Green budget deal for 2019/20, ministers agreed to consider charging to reduce single use disposable drinks cups, with a commitment to bring forward legislation within the next year.

Today the Greens published an action plan to ban pointless plastics such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds, and to phase out disposable cups by 2025 using a combination of levies and public education.

The plan proposes a 25p-per-cup levy, rising by 5p a year until 2025. This could raise between £50m and £200m a year for local councils who are battling plastic pollution but this would reduce to zero as usage declines.

The Greens want the charge to be implemented as a tax but this would require UK Government approval. The Scottish Government could instead opt to use existing powers to introduce a levy based on the plastic bag charge.

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said:

"The UK Government failed to introduce its much-hyped coffee cup tax, so Scotland has a chance to lead the way and show we are serious about tackling the scourge of plastic pollution. Being a leader on this issue is not only the right thing to do but it will create opportunities for innovative Scottish businesses to develop sustainable alternatives.

"Plastic pollution has become an environmental emergency in Scotland and around the world. It threatens wildlife, litters our beaches and cities, contributes to climate change and places enormous costs on local councils.

"We have already seen great success with the 5p levy on single-use carrier bags reducing their use by 80 per cent in the first year. Bold action on other plastics is clearly required."

Get involved

More like this

Tory MSP seeks amendment to transport bill for his own car

Tue 21 May, 2019

Motoring enthusiast and Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has lodged an amendment to the Transport Bill which would exclude his own classic car from low emission zone legislation.

Mr Fraser’s amendment would provide an exemption for cars over constructed over 30 years ago despite the far greater emissions from older vehicles. [2]

Tackling emissions from petrol and diesel powered vehicles is a key part of reducing air pollution and addressing the climate emergency.

Climate must be at heart of future budgets

Tue 14 May, 2019

The Scottish Greens will not support future Scottish Government budgets unless Ministers prioritise tackling the climate emergency in all policy areas, according to the party’s Climate Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP.

Responding to a statement for the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change in parliament, this afternoon Mr Ruskell welcomed the Scottish Government’s movement on the issues, but highlighting that action cannot wait.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

Scot Gov must prove it is serious on climate emergency

Tue 14 May, 2019

Scottish Greens Climate Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP has today challenged the Scottish Government to prove it’s serious about tackling the climate emergency, ahead of a major statement on the subject in parliament this afternoon.