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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S5W-24269

  • Asked by: Ruth Maguire, MSP for Cunninghame South, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 8 July 2019
  • Current status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 2 August 2019


To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to tackle plastic pollution and its prevention, including microplastics in Scottish waterways.


The Scottish Government has a number of projects designed to tackle plastic pollution in Scotland’s waterways. We are committed to tackling Scotland’s throw-away culture and to matching the pace envisioned by the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive. We are already leading by example, and were the first country in the UK to announce our ambitious design for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme. Our Expert Panel is considering measures to tackle difficult to recycle items, such as single use beverage cups. We have committed to increase the single use carrier bag charge to 10p and to legislating against plastic cotton buds. We are also part of a UK-wide consultation on reform of packaging producer responsibility arrangements.

Work is underway to reduce plastic pollution from drainage. We are currently working with the plastics industry and other relevant parties including SEPA to expand on the industry’s Operation Clean to provide a transparent, supply-chain approach to ensure pellet loss is minimised in the future. We also support Scottish Water’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution from combined sewer overflows, reducing the amount of sewage related debris reaching our waterways.