Tue 30 Nov, 2021

The UK Government must not stand in the way of Scotland’s action to tackle single-use plastics, the Scottish Greens have said.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater has already announced plans to eliminate the most problematic single-use plastics from fast food, including polystyrene and plastic straws, and more action is expected, for example on wet wipes that contain plastic.

However, the plans are under threat from the UK Internal Market Act, which allows the UK to effectively veto devolved decisions.

The issue was raised at Holyrood’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee. Lorna Slater told MSPs: “The ban is at risk from the UK Internal Market Act, which effectively exempts items that are produced in or imported via another part of the UK.”

She confirmed officials have approached the UK Government to establish a common framework which would maintain environmental standards.

Speaking afterwards, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “Scottish Greens are committed to tackling the plastic that permeates our landfill sites, oceans and waterways, and the impact that has on our environment and the climate emergency.

“Protecting our environment is a devolved matter, yet the UK Government’s internal market presents a clear obstacle to our efforts to tackle the scourge of plastic and build a circular economy. It’s clear that if this Tory government wants to claw back any credibility after COP26 it must not stand in the way of the clear progress Scotland is making with Greens in government.”

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