Two-thirds would support charge for single-use plastics

A scheme similar to the 5p charge for carrier bags would be welcomed by 66% of Scots, a survey has found.

Two-thirds would support charge for single-use plastics Getty Images

Two-thirds of Scots would support a carrier bag-style charge for single-use plastics, according to a new survey.

The poll for Zero Waste Scotland highlights that reducing harm to the marine environment was cited by 89% of those backing the move.

It found 66% of respondents would support introducing fees, similar to the carrier bag charge, to cut down their use.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “It is clear from these results that people are worried about the impact single-use plastic items have on our environment.

“These items can last for decades and the damage they can cause to wildlife is shocking.

“We have to find ways to cut down the stream of items we are sending into what should be pristine habitats and the consultation offers a valuable way for people to contribute to the discussion around market restrictions.”

The YouGov poll had 1004 respondents and work was undertaken between September 29 and October 1.

It comes as the Scottish Government consults on further steps to reduce the consumption of single-use items.

Views are being sought on the introduction of new legislation to restrict the supply of a number of items including plastic plates, straws, cutlery and balloon sticks.

Reusable alternatives would continue to be widely available.

It could see the introduction of market restrictions on items most commonly found on beaches in Europe.

Catherine Gemmell, Scotland conservation officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said: “Our volunteers have been on the frontline dealing with single-use plastic and other litter washing up on beaches around Scotland for over two decades. We have to stop single-use plastic at its source.

“It’s encouraging to see so many people in this survey link the single-use plastic issue to the negative impact it has on Scottish seas and wildlife.

“Now, we’re asking them to go one step further and respond to the Scottish Government consultation and add their support for banning several single-use plastic items.”

All retailers in Scotland must charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bags.

The law came into effect in October 2014 and with an aim to encourage bag reuse and reduce litter.

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