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Scotland bans single-use coffee cups in government buildings

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Scotland bans single-use coffee cups in government buildings

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Scotland has imposed a ban on all single-use coffee cups in government buildings starting 4 June in a bid to tackle plastic waste.

These include cups with a recyclable label as these are also thrown out after one use, a government spokesman told Euronews.

The move is expected to prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year.

Drinks will be served in ceramic cups in coffee shops and restaurants located inside government buildings and staff is encouraged to bring their cups from home for takeaways.

"The Scottish government is determined to lead by example when it comes to tackling the scourge of plastic littering our countryside and polluting our seas," said Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunnigham in a statement.

Scottish Government
Dame Sue Bruce and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham Scottish Government

“By removing single-use coffee cups from our main buildings, we will prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year. That’s enough cups to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee.

“We support the EU’s vision to reduce single-use plastics as far as possible and ensure any single-use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030. We are currently considering what other single-use items can be reduced and removed from Scottish Government buildings later this year.

“Our newly appointed expert panel is considering what further action we can take to fight against our throwaway culture, and this will include looking at disposable cups and plastic straws as well as any potential implications for disabled people.”

The expert panel will be made up experts in waste, legal, retail, and public sectors and led by Electoral Commissioner Dame Sue Bruce. Its aim will be to change consumer behaviour about plastics in order to reduce pollution.

Back in February, plastic drinking straws were banned at Scottish Parliament restaurant and cafes and the government is seeking a ban on the manufacture and sale of cotton buds, an item commonly found in Scottish beaches, according to Cunningham.