The Scottish government is doing its bit to tackle disposable coffee cups by banning them from its main buildings.
From 4 June, staff and visitors will have to bring a reusable cup for take away hot drinks, while ceramic mugs will be provided for those sitting in. It’s hoped that the measure will save 450,000 cups from landfill every year - enough to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee.
The announcement follows the failed latte levy, a proposed 25p charge on disposable coffee cups, which was rejected by the UK government earlier this year.
Speaking to the BBC, Scottish government Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “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.”
She added: “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.”
The move applies to all hot drinks served at at Buchanan House, St Andrew’s House, Saughton House, Victoria Quay, Atlantic Quay and Marine Lab cafes and restaurants.
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Fiona Nicholls, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The Scottish Government has been ahead of the curve in tackling plastic pollution, so it’s fantastic to see them cleaning house by banning single-use coffee cups in government buildings.
“Now, let’s see more ambitious action beyond their own front yard. The producers of all this single-use rubbish must be held to account, and government has a central role to play in introducing new laws to curb plastic pollution. This means ambitious taxation measures, a comprehensive deposit return scheme for all drinks containers, and a ban on unnecessary non-recyclable problem plastics without delay.”