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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-06314: Ash Denham (Edinburgh Eastern)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 18 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will consider and provide a response to the conclusions in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 27 January 2017

I welcome the report and agree with its focus on collaborative action. The three key transition areas for plastics packaging identified by the report on redesign, reuse and optimising recycling are very much in line with the principles set out in our Circular Economy Strategy, ‘Making Things Last’.

We have already:

agreed the Household Recycling Charter with COSLA, for more consistent local collections, improving quantity and quality of recycling including plastics packaging, with 23 Councils now signed up;

established the Scottish Materials Brokerage Service to combine public sector recyclables contracts of sufficient scale to nurture reprocessing in Scotland and get a better deal for Councils, particularly as they move to consistent, higher quality materials under the Household Recycling Charter;

introduced the carrier bag charge to increase reuse, reducing numbers of ‘single-use’ bags and cutting litter; and

announced plans to legislate to ban plastic microbeads in cosmetics to protect the marine environment and to work with other administrations to ensure the ban is implemented effectively across the UK.

The Scottish Government is already involved in the New Plastics Economy initiative through Zero Waste Scotland input to the collaborative ‘pioneer projects’. One such project is currently in development with Scottish companies, focused on innovation in mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics.