Zero Waste Scotland warns focus on plastics is missing the point about throwaway culture

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
The problem is not single-use plastics; it is single use, says Zero Waste Scotland's Iain Gulland

Zero Waste Scotland has warned that the current focus on plastics is distracting from the real issue of ending ‘throwaway culture’.

This Climate Week, 7-13 October, the organisation is urging consumers to take a stand against unnecessary single-use items.

It is calling on consumers to refuse materials such as plastic straws in drinks and disposable coffee cups to let retailers and producers know they are unwanted, plus highlight this on social media.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The problem is not single-use plastics; it is single use.

“We desperately need to reduce the amount that we consume, and we can make a significant start by rejecting unnecessary single-use items and unwanted ‘extras’.The power lies with people to both make changes and to ask businesses to do more.”

Research by Zero Waste Scotland from 2019 showed that Scottish consumers purchase more than 300,000 tonnes of single-use packaging for their groceries every year.

Additionally, four fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint come from the heat and energy used to produce, process, and transport materials which are often tossed aside after minimal usage.


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