SCOTLAND has banned plastic-stemmed cotton buds in a UK first.
The move comes with the country’s commitment to meet or exceed standards set out in the EU single-use plastics directive, meaning that items made of polystyrene such as cutlery, plates and food and drink containers will also be banned or regulated by 2021.
The ban on plastic stemmed cotton buds comes just a month after it was first confirmed in Parliament. Environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said on the news, “I am proud that the Scottish Government has become the first UK administration to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds, with Regulations laid in Parliament on 2 September now coming into force.
“Single-use plastic products are not only wasteful but generate unnecessary litter that blights our beautiful beaches and green spaces while threatening our wildlife on land and at sea.
“This ban builds on work already underway to address Scotland’s throw-away culture, and we will continue to take action on other problematic items in the coming years as part of our efforts to reduce harmful plastics and single-use items, protect our environment and develop a thriving circular economy.
“We are facing a global climate emergency and must all work together to reduce, reuse and recycle to ensure a sustainable future for the current and next generation.”
Scotland conservation officer for the marine conservation society, Catherine Gemmell, added, “Marine Conservation Society volunteers have picked up over 150,000 plastic cotton bud sticks from Scottish beaches over the last 25 years so this ban coming into force is a fantastic win for our seas and wildlife.
“We look forward to more ambitious action from the Scottish Government and to working with them on further actions needed to stop the plastic tide.”