From June 1, 2022, many single-use plastics will be banned in Scotland in order to help tackle the country’s throwaway culture. Zero Waste Scotland, who began the campaign for this change in legislation, have given a webinar full of tips and tricks to help retailers prepare for the ban.
The legislation will focus on the ban of single-use plastic cutlery, plates, beverage stirrers and food containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene. These products have been specifically chosen to align with the EU’s Single-use Plastic’s plan. This will apply to all businesses, even if a charge is already incurred when supplying these items.
Plastic straws, however, remain the main exception to the legislation following campaigns from Inclusion Scotland, who specified the requirements for plastic straws for people with disabilities. The legislation maintains that plastic straws must still be made available in catering establishments but kept behind counters and out of reach of customers. Customers, however, must be given access to straws if asked. Plastic straws remain a vital accessibility aid and alternative materials are not always suitable for some disabled people.
A toolkit to help businesses understand this exception can be found here: www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/exemptions
Zero Waste Scotland also provided a short video from businesses who have already introduced these changes in their establishments. Some of these ideas included charging deposits on reusable containers, which can be reimbursed if the customer returns the container. Similarly, some businesses have swapped to reusable sauce containers to phase out plastic sauce sachets. And finally, one business has been encouraging customers to bring their own containers into store when purchasing hot food and offering discounts if they do.
You can watch the full webinar here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UU3GUbW_Ro