Plastic waste costs Scotland £11 million

Plastic waste web

Households across Scotland are binning recyclable plastic, which is also hitting local authorities in the pocket

5th June 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scotland is missing out on millions of pounds as plastic waste is sent to landfill.

Zero Waste Scotland has highlighted that the average household bins 27kg of plastic which could be recycled.

Figures that have been released to mark World Environment Day (5 June) claim this plastic could have been worth £5.7 million if recycled, but instead costs Scotland an estimated £5.3m to send to landfill.

And a call to action – entitled Beat Plastic Pollution – is calling for people across the world to ensure that plastic is recycled. Scotland has committed to phase out the use of non-recyclable plastics and is currently designing a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging which is aimed at achieving recycling rates of more than 90%.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, called for Scots to ensure that they recycle plastic items.

He said: “Plastic is a valuable resource, and one which can help generate additional income when recycled properly, yet we are throwing it away, adding to pollution in Scotland, and wasting public money that could have been invested in schools, parks or local facilities. 

“There’s an enormous opportunity to turn single-use plastic bottles into a valuable resource if placed in the correct recycling bins.”

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the government is determined to take action to combat plastic pollution.

She said: “This year alone the Scottish Government has announced plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds and will shortly be banning rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads as part of Scotland, and the EU’s, vision to reduce single-use plastics and ensure any single-use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030. 

“Our newly set up expert panel is now considering what further steps can be taken on items like plastic straws and disposable cups.

“The Scottish Government is however determined to lead by example when it comes to tackling the scourge of plastic littering our countryside and polluting our seas.”