Incentives needed says SNP

Businesses ‘should be encouraged to cut packaging’

McDonalds packaging

Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced that it will use only sustainable packaging from 2025


Ministers at Westminster are being urged to better incentivise business to reduce their waste and take more responsibility for the environmental impact of their practices.

Regulations over the amount of packaging and materials used in the delivery of goods as well as recycling those materials are set at a UK level.

However, waste is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and the SNP is concerned the waste packaging and product regulation is to be included in the measures being held back by Westminster after Brexit. 

The European Union Circular Economy Package, adopted in January 2018, proposes economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes, for example for packaging, batteries, electric and electronic equipment and vehicles.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “The waste hierarchy is thus – reduce, reuse, recycle. In that order. But the Tories aren’t prioritising the first bit.

“Big companies often try to put the focus on consumer behaviour – don’t litter, recycle your waste. 

“But the cost of recycling shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of councils, the devolved administrations and the consumer.

“We need producers across the UK to innovate and stop creating so much needless packaging – but they’ll only do that if it reduces their own costs.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Tory government to adopt more environmentally friendly regulations around packaging and production methods. 

“The onus is on Michael Gove to promote more of a ‘polluter pays’ principle that incentivises producers right across the UK to change their ways. Our environment is at stake here.” 

Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced that it will use only sustainable packaging from 2025.

All items such as bags, straws, wrappers and cups will use recyclable or renewable materials – up from around 50%.

Supermarket chain Iceland that it would also sharply reduce the use of plastic by the end of 2013.


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