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We'll not bin a ban on plastic straws; Government's vow on campaign.

Byline: | Craig McDonald

The Scottish Government have insisted they are committed to banning plastic straws - despite the move being absent from their plans for the coming year.

Officials say they're awaiting the findings of an expert panel set up to examine the issue but reiterated their desire to "tackle our throwaway culture, including plastic straws".

The Sunday Mail has been campaigning to make Scotland the first country in Europe to be free of plastic straws, which can take 500 years to decompose and are damaging to marine life.

Alternatives include paper or compostable versions.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said earlier this year that legislation banning the manufacture of plastic straws could be in place by 2019.

The SNP's Programme for Scotland 2018-19, which was published on Tuesday, mentioned only plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

It added: "We have appointed an expert panel on environmental charges and other measures.

"The panel will identify the bold actions we need to take as consumers and producers to tackle our throwaway culture, including on disposable cups and plastic straws."

The document stated that the Government aim for Scotland "to be the greenest country in the world" through tackling "the use of plastics".

It added Glasgow will host an international conference next year "on improving and protecting our marine environment, focusing on reducing the level of marine plastics in our seas".

A spokesman said: "The Scottish Government continue to tackle our throwaway culture and remain totally committed to tackling the unnecessary use of plastic straws.

"We look forward to hearing the findings of the expert panel, who will report back on issues including how the needs of disabled people who currently depend on plastic straws can be safeguarded as we take action."

He added: "We're pleased to see how consumer pressure is leading to shops, cafes and restaurants removing or reducing the availability of plastic straws and other single-use items."

Our campaign has seen more than 10million plastic straws eliminated from use in Scotland this year.

We told last week how Scotland's largest pub operators, Greene King, plan to remove a million more and replace them with compostable versions.

McDonald's are also replacing plastic straws at their UK and Ireland outlets, starting this month.

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 9, 2018
Words:376
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