Scottish Government to move on plastic cotton buds ban

cotton buds plastic

The sale and manufacture of plastic cotton buds is to be outlawed in Scotland as part of moves to tackle marine litter, the Scottish Government has announced.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced ministers plan to bring in legislation to introduce a ban – making Scotland the first part of the UK to legislate against the environmentally damaging items.

Plastic cotton buds are among the most common pieces of litter found discarded on beaches, and campaigners described the proposed ban as “great news for the environment and wildlife”.

A ban on plastic cotton buds could help cut marine plastic pollution in half, Friends of the Earth Scotland said.

The Scottish Government will now carry out a public consultation on the move.


Ms Cunningham said: “Banning plastic cotton buds would be a clear sign of our ambition to address marine plastics and demonstrate further leadership on this issue.

“Despite various campaigns, people are continuing to flush litter down their toilets. This has to stop. “Scotland’s sewerage infrastructure collects and treats some 945 million litres of waste water each day.

“These systems are not designed to remove small plastic items such as plastic buds which can kill marine animals and birds that swallow them. “These products are completely unnecessary as biodegradable alternatives are readily available.

“The need for action is clear and I would encourage everyone with an interest in safeguarding our natural environment to take part in the consultation when it opens.”

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “This decisive action is great news for the environment and for wildlife. Cotton buds are a very visible sign of our hugely wasteful habits, turning up on beaches across the globe.

Read the full article at The Herald.

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