Advisory group set up to consider single use cup charges

Advisory group set up to consider single-use cup charges

A group has been formed to shape plans to bring in charges for single-use cups.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater announced the move on Thursday, with work beginning again on the policy which was paused during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A panel chaired by Dame Sue Bruce advised the Scottish Government that single-use cups should carry a charge of between 25p and 30p.

The group will bring together different stages of the supply chain, the Scottish Government said, including representatives of manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as environmental groups and academics.

“Single-use coffee cups are a classic example of the throwaway culture that we are taking action to tackle,” Ms Slater said.

“Lots of people already carry a reusable cup with them, but hundreds of millions of single-use cups are still being wasted every single year.

“Evidence shows that a small charge on single-use cups can be hugely effective in encouraging people to switch to a reusable alternative.

“I look forward to working with experts representing business, the environment and consumers to take forward this important measure.

“Alongside Scotland’s deposit return scheme, which will recycle nearly two billion bottles and cans every year, and our action to ban some of the most problematic single-use plastics, this will make a vital contribution to reducing the amount of waste generated in the country.”

Zero Waste Scotland has estimated that 4,000 tonnes of waste is generated by single-use plastic cups every year – the equivalent of 40,000 of the containers.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Single-use items, like cups, are emblematic of the throwaway culture we need to change if we want to tackle the climate crisis.

“We know there’s an appetite for action on such items, with a recent Zero Waste Scotland survey indicating that 66% of Scots would support introducing charges to limit the use of single-use plastic and packaging.

“Switching to reusable over single-use is one of the best things we can all do for the environment, so it’s hugely welcome news that work to shape a chargeable cup scheme is continuing with the formation of an advisory group.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub