UK Government refusal over glass should spark environmental outrage
Speculation that the UK Government plans to grant only a partial exemption to Scotland’s deposit return scheme would be vindictive, short-sighted and should spark outrage over its likely environmental consequences, say the Scottish Greens.
The party's climate spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP said:
“If today’s media reports are correct, it shows a contempt for our environment and our democracy."
“It would be short-sighted in the extreme and should spark outrage over its likely consequences not just for our streets and countryside, but for businesses too.
“Millions of pounds have already been spent preparing for this scheme. Dozens of countries around the world already include glass, and devolved nations including Scotland and Wales have made democratic decisions to pursue this path.
“For the UK Government to go against all that suggests this is a decision taken not using logic or common sense, but spawned through a vindictive and self-serving attempt to undermine the will of the Scottish Parliament.
“Stop and think about it for a moment. What the UK Government has done is breach its own manifesto commitment, drive a coach and horses through devolution and condemn our communities to endure broken glass littering our streets, making our parks and beaches more dangerous, injuring our pets, harming our children and sparking wildfires for perpetuity.
“They have stuck two fingers up to businesses who have already invested millions and recruited hundreds of staff to make the scheme a success, all because Rishi Sunak’s government decided that real devolution doesn’t matter if Westminster disagrees.
“Shame on Alister Jack and shame on the UK Prime Minister for treating Scotland with such utter contempt and for betraying our future generations who are counting on our parliaments to protect the environment.
“I recognise that the Scottish Government will have to reflect very hard on this to decide its next move but I suspect this outrageous environmental travesty will spill out far beyond Scotland’s borders, and right up to the gates of Downing Street.
“Producers of huge brands such as Irn Bru, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Britvic have invested millions and been working on their plans for years. Greenpeace, Keep Britain Tidy and the Marine Conservation Society warned the Prime Minister only days ago that glass has to be included in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
“Environmental charities, campaigners and business groups will now be looking towards the UK Government’s own diluted deposit scheme nervously, and asking how and why the Tories quite literally lost their bottle.”