Defra Minister Steve Double has signed off the Scottish exemption to the Internal Market Act enabling it to enforce its single-use plastic ban in a move criticised by the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA).
The FPA is highlighting that when the exemption comes into effect on 12 August, Scottish businesses left with stocks will not be allowed to export banned items to businesses in England and beyond.
The FPA says that this means stocks of items such as plastic cutlery, plates, straws and beverage stirrers, can’t be given to charities.
How can the Scottish Government’s policy regarding left over stocks be regarded as responsible?
The FPA is a representative organisation for the foodservice packaging industry and engages with central and devolved governments, NGOs, government committees, trade associations, and other relevant bodies.
Executive Director at FPA, Martin Kersh, said: “It seems incredible that the Scottish government would, in the name of sustainability, rather see perfectly usable packaging destroyed. Because supply and demand vary, it is likely that banned items will be found in warehouses for some time to come.
“It’s hard to believe that a government would rather this was destroyed than put to good use. We are particularly concerned that this rash action will set a precedent when it comes to other items targeted by the policy and call on the Scottish government to reconsider this wasteful action.”
Sales Director at Glasgow-based Marshall Wilson, Ian Queen, said: “On top of vast energy and raw material cost increases, our customers are suffering another blow by having to increase expenditure on packaging as a result of this ban.
“In doing so, to add insult to injury, another cost is being forced upon our customers because they have to write off perfectly useable packaging rather than be given a reasonable time to make good use of it. It makes a mockery of the name ‘Zero Waste Scotland’ when it is telling every business in Scotland carrying stocks of the banned products, to scrap them.
“On its website, Zero Waste Scotland claims it ‘will lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly.’ How can the Scottish government’s policy regarding left over stocks be regarded as responsible?”