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Single-use coffee cups banned at Scottish Government

Hot drinks will be served in ceramic mugs at cafes and restaurants from June.

By STV News

Published 30 May 2018.

Single-use coffee cups are to be banned in Scottish Government buildings.

Hot drinks will be served in ceramic mugs from next month at cafes and restaurants.

Staff will be encouraged to bring in their own reusable cups for takeaways.

The ban will apply at St Andrew's House, Saughton House, Victoria Quay, Atlantic Quay, Marine Lab and Buchanan House.

The Scottish Government said the move would prevent 450,000 single-use cups being thrown out every year.

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.

"By removing single use coffee cups from our main buildings, we will prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year.

"That's enough cups to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee.

"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.

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

The government has appointed an expert panel to look at further action on disposable cups and plastic straws in Scotland.

The panel is being led by electoral commissioner Dame Sue Bruce, with representatives from retail, the waste and chemical industries, the public sector and academia.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: "In January, Scottish Liberal Democrats uncovered that the Scottish Government were burning through a scandalous 1200 single-use cups a day and challenged them to lead by example in reducing their coffee cup waste.

"It's great news they've finally agreed to tackle their throwaway culture in government buildings but the next step is to stop dithering and commit to introducing a Scotland-wide 'latte levy' so that single-use cups are sent packing just like plastic bags were."

Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Greens' environment spokesman, said: "People in Scotland are expecting their government to take tough action across the whole country on single-use products, not just in their offices.

"This small-scale gesture is welcome, but we urgently need to see the Scottish Government finally get round the table with the UK government, the big supermarkets and manufacturers to plan for the end of all unnecessary single-use plastics."