Greenock Telegraph 8th April 2022

When I was a kid, we used to take glass lemonade bottles back to the shop and get a few pennies for them. We did it for the money, we were not mini eco warriors. But of course, that changed with the introduction of plastic bottles which were used and thrown away after one use. And it didn’t stop at bottles it included cutlery, plates, polystyrene food containers and cups. The detritus kept mounting up. And now we live in a disposable society. Looking around my office I am pleased to see that I have glass jars for pens and markers, and for wine gums and liquorice all sorts. I even have glass bottles on a shelf just because they are nice shapes and reflect light in a pleasing manner. But I know that my favoured soft drinks come in plastic bottles and that my food often comes in plastic packaging. Disposing of them thoughtfully helps as they can often be recycled but many are not either recycled or disposed of thoughtfully. The many discarded empty plastic bottles left behind after football matches at the Battery Park and Parklea are living proof that many people haven’t quite grasped the seriousness of the situation. However, a majority 77% of people living in Scotland are concerned about the amount of single-use packaging we use in Scotland. New regulations from the Scottish Government published on 11 November 2021 mean that some problematic single-use plastic items are banned from June 2022 (subject to the Internal Markets Act). Businesses affected by the changes have time to prepare for the new laws coming into force and are encouraged to think about managing stock levels of the banned items. I would encourage businesses to be proactive and start shifting to alternatives (such as reusable items) so their single-use plastics stock is used up when regulations come into force in June 2022.