Kate Forbes MSP today (Thursday 11 January) welcomed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution in Scotland.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch – who also sits on Holyrood’s Environment Committee – raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions, and said she was encouraged by Ms Sturgeon’s response.
Whilst welcoming the intent behind the UK Government’s new environmental plans, Ms Forbes questioned the lack of urgency on action – adding that primary school pupils from Glasgow and the Highlands were able to make Ullapool a plastic straw-free village in a matter of months.
Kate Forbes MSP: “Thanks to the growing pressure of public concern about plastics, there has been a lot more discussion at the highest levels of the UK and Scottish Governments about cracking down on single-use plastics.
“Whilst I welcome Theresa May’s 25 year-plan, there have got to be tangible steps rather than just sympathy.
“It took a primary school in Glasgow just a matter of months to eliminate all plastic straws from the village of Ullapool, so why will take Theresa May to reduce ‘avoidable’ plastics?
“The Scottish Government’s announcement on banning the sale and manufacture of cotton buds demonstrates that Governments can and should bite the bullet and make decisions about plastics.”
The Highland MSP continued: “Most of us won’t notice a difference using paper cotton buds instead of plastic ones. This is the kind of decisive action I want to see on plastic straws too.
“It requires the UK and Scottish Governments to crack down on plastic straws, as well as businesses across Scotland choosing alternatives.
“Raising this issue at First Minister’s Questions is another opportunity to make the case for reducing plastic straws.
“The First Minister is clearly already committed, with the Scottish Government having already implemented a charge for plastic bags and now set to introduce a deposit return scheme, on top of the new ban on plastic cotton buds.
“Her answer was indicative of the future steps she intends to take.”