Council services will be encouraged to reduce their use of Single Use Plastic (SUP) products and changes have been made to procedures to encourage alternative options to be explored.
The council’s Climate Change Board made this recommendation in September and it was confirmed today (9 December) by the Policy and Resources Committee.
This is a significant step because members of the public regularly highlight SUPs as one of their main environmental concerns.
This policy is being put in place ahead of upcoming Scottish government legislation which will ban the supply and manufacture of certain types of plastic products in June 2022. These include cups and containers made of SUP expanded polystyrene beverage cups, SUP cutlery and SUP beverage stirrers.
The impacts of waste on the environment and our health are global and can be drastic. Single-use plastic products are more likely to end up in our seas than reusable options. The 10 most commonly found single-use plastic items on European beaches, alongside fishing gear, represent 70% of all marine litter in the EU.
Reducing the use of SUP at source fits with the council’s overall strategy of moving to a circular economy whereby waste disposal works on the principal of reduce, reuse and recycle.
By working together, the council and householders can increase recycling rates and reduce waste going to landfill and recovery.
Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of the council, said: “Our top priority should always be preventing waste. If and when waste is created, we focus on preparing it for a reusable purpose, followed by recycling or other recovery method. Landfill should always be the final, and least desired, option.
“Changing our policy on SUP is yet another step we take at preventing waste. We are now asking services to think long and hard about what they are buying and what other options are out there to replace SUP. Preventing waste is better for the planet and saves public money. We can, and must, do it at home and in businesses.”