Jo Swinson and local Lib Dems have joined calls to introduce a levy on disposable plastic bags. The proposals were launched by the Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Pringle, and would greatly reduce plastic bag use and benefit the environment.
The levy on plastic bags in Ireland has been a huge success. 1.2 billion plastic bags were previously handed out in shops and this has been reduced by 90%. 20 billion bags are used in the UK every year. Scotland can now take the lead in tackling this major problem.
Jo said, “All of us receive plastic bags in shops which we don’t need and they end up in the bin. Plastic bags litter the environment, and can take up to 100 years to decompose in landfill sites.”
Cllr Duncan Cumming added:
“This measure is good for shops as it can reduce the cost of bags. It’s good for consumers who pay indirectly for the cost of landfilling and clearing up the waste. It’s good for local authorities who will have funds to pay for environmental improvements and it is good for the environment.”