Quantcast

Single-Use Coffee Cups Banned in Scottish Government Buildings

Popular
Nirzar / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Scotland's Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that single-use coffee cups will be banned from canteens in government buildings starting June 4.

Although the disposable cups are mostly made of paper, the vast majority have an inner plastic lining that most recycling facilities are unable to separate and process.


"The Scottish government is determined to lead by example when it comes to tackling the scourge of plastic littering our countryside and polluting our seas," Cunningham told BBC News.

"By removing single use coffee cups from our main buildings, we will prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year," she noted. "That's enough cups to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee."

The ban will apply to all hot drinks purchased from restaurants and cafes in government buildings, including St. Andrew's House, Saughton House, Victoria Quay, Atlantic Quay, Marine Lab and Buchanan House. The to-go cups will be replaced with reusable ceramic mugs.

Government staff, which first learned about the changes in May, will also be encouraged to bring in their own mugs.

Europe is taking aggressive steps to stem the flow of plastic pollution. On Monday, the European Commission proposed banning the 10 most common single-use plastic products as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. The European Union's executive arm targeted the products that are most often found on the continent's beaches and seas, which together account for 70 percent of its marine litter.

"We support the EU's vision to reduce single use plastics as far as possible and ensure any single use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030," Cunningham continued in her statement to BBC News.

"We are currently considering what other single-use items can be reduced and removed from Scottish government buildings later this year."

In January, Scotland announced plans to outlaw plastic cotton buds. The following month, the government announced intentions to ban plastic straws.

Scotland has emerged as a leader in a range of environmental issues. Last year, a stunning 68.1 percent of the nation's electricity came from renewable energy, up 26 percent from 2016.

Last week, the Scottish government introduced a new Climate Change Bill to parliament that will make the country's existing climate legislation even tougher. The legislation sets a new 90 percent emissions reduction target for 2050, an increase on the current 80 percent level set by the UK-wide Climate Change Act in 2008.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Doctors report that only 1 in 4 children are getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Ronnie Kaufman / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Dan Gray

Pediatricians are being urged to start writing "exercise prescriptions" for the children they see in their office.

Read More
A First Nations protester walks in front of a train blockade in Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ontario, Canada on Feb. 21, 2020. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

An indigenous rail blockade that snarled train travel in Canada for more than two weeks came to an end Monday when police moved in to clear protesters acting in solidarity with another indigenous community in British Columbia (B.C.), which is fighting to keep a natural gas pipeline off its land.

Read More
Sponsored
A rainbow snake, a rare reptile spotted in a Florida county for the first time in more than 50 years, seen here on July 5, 2013. Kevin Enge / FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr

A Florida hiker recently stumbled across a slithering surprise — a rare snake that hadn't been spotted in the area for more than 50 years.

Read More
We need our government to do everything it can to stop PFAS contamination and exposure from wreaking havoc in communities across the country. LuAnn Hun / Unsplash

By Genna Reed

The EPA announced last week that it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard to two of the most common and well-studied PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.

This decision is based on three criteria:

  1. PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health
  2. PFOA and PFOS occur in drinking water often enough and at levels of public health concern;
  3. regulation of PFOA and PFOS is a meaningful opportunity for reducing the health risk to those served by public water systems.
Read More
Charging EVs in Stockholm: But where does a dead battery go? Ranjithsiji / Wikimedia Commons

By Kieran Cooke

Driving an electric-powered vehicle (EV) rather than one reliant on fossil fuels is a key way to tackle climate change and improve air quality — but it does leave the old batteries behind as a nasty residue.

Read More