Panel consider plastic pollution charges

11 May 2018, 15:25

plastic microbeads

Experts from the environmental, chemical, waste and retail industries have been appointed to a Scottish Government panel looking at charges to cut plastic pollution.

Current Electoral Commissioner Dame Sue Bruce will chair the Expert Panel on Environmental Charges and Other Measures which will advise the government on possible fees to reduce waste, including items such as disposable cups and plastic straws.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency chief executive Terry A'Hearn, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland and Mike Barry, director of sustainable business at Marks & Spencer will sit on the panel.

They will be joined by a behavioural expert, an economist, representatives from the biotech, chemical and waste industries, a legal expert, disability adviser, and a representative from the 2050 climate group.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "We were the first country in the UK to commit to introducing a deposit return scheme and we are currently consulting on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, one of the items most commonly found on our beaches.

"But I want to go further, and the creation of our expert panel is an important step towards seriously addressing this issue in Scotland.

"The panel's expertise and skills from across waste, legal, retail and public sectors as well providing a voice for young people and disabled people, will help us identify the bold actions we can take in Scotland to encourage long-term, sustainable changes in consumer and producer behaviour."

Dame Sue Bruce said: "The panel will be asking questions about what we can do together in Scotland - as consumers, communities, producers, retailers and government - to radically change our attitudes and our use of single-use items."