Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The skye times mobile


Kate Forbes MSP has written to Scotland's major public bodies and companies delivering public contracts asking them to take the lead in cracking down on plastic straws and other single-use plastics to save the environment.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch recently launched her 'Final Straw' campaign, calling on businesses and consumers to commit to stop using disposable plastic straws and for governments to ban their use.

It is estimated that around 3 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in Scotland – proving a significant pollutant in the seas around Scotland and risk to wildlife.

Kate Forbes MSP has now sought commitments from rail operator ScotRail and west coast ferry operator CalMac, asking them to go 'straw free' by not automatically providing plastic straws with drinks, and only providing paper or biodegradable straws when requested.

She has also written to Scotland's National Galleries and National Museums for similar action in their public cafes, and to Highland Council for action in catering and canteen facilities.

The Scottish Government has taken the lead in seeking to tackle the scourge of plastics as a major source of pollution across the world, and this week announced its intention to ban the sale and manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "Most of us don't need plastic straws in our drinks and yet in Scotland we throw away a staggering 3 billion each year. They're choking our seas and damaging our environment.

"As consumers we should all try hard to change our habits, politicians should listen up and take action, and pubs, restaurants and cafes shouldn't be offering customers unnecessary plastic straws as a matter of course.

"It's quite simple - if you don't need a straw in your drink, then don't use one. Of course, some people have particular needs which mean they require a straw with their drink. For them, there should always be biodegradable options available.

"There's a real opportunity here for Scotland's public sector to lead the way and bring about real change in our day-to-day habits as a society.

"On trains and ferries connecting our communities, we can go without a plastic straw in our drinks.

"People working in the public sector can get through a lunch break without a plastic straw in their drink from the staff canteen.

"And in the cafes in Scotland's world-class museums and galleries, we can showcase to international visitors that Scotland is serious when it comes to protecting our environment.

"This is a great chance for our public sector to lead by example, to change the way a nation thinks about disposable plastics and our responsibilities to the planet."

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