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From June 1, 2022, many single use plastics will be completely banned in Scotland, unless exempt from the legislations.

These new laws are the latest in measures introduced by Zero Waste Scotland to help tackle the country’s throwaway culture, and to shift towards a circular economy. The ban means it is unlawful; to make and supply commercially any of the following items:

  • Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, and other similar utensils)
  • Single-use plastic plates
  • Single-use plastic beverage stirrers
  • Single-use food containers/cups made of expanded polystyrene


However, following public consultation there are exemptions to the new legislations. Single-use plastic straws and single-use balloon sticks are the current exemptions and may be supplied within specific settings and circumstances.

Zero Waste Scotland is actively encouraging all businesses to begin sourcing alternative products, such as reusable items, ahead of June 1. However, businesses should be cautious as although the ban of single-use plastic is beneficial to the environment, other single-use products made of alternative materials can lead to different negative environmental impacts.

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