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News that a plastic straw ban will take effect next summer has been widely welcomed.
Kate Forbes MSP – who launched the Final Straw campaign in her Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency at the beginning of 2018 – is one of many delighted to hear that Scotland is to ban single-use plastic straws by June 1, 2022.
In an announcement last week, the Scottish Government also confirmed it wishes to implement a ban on other single-use items such as plastic cutlery, plates, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks.
Ms Forbes commented: ‘A few years ago, on a cold January morning, I launched the Final Straw campaign.
‘The aim was to raise awareness about single use plastics. Over the subsequent months, a number of businesses phased out the use of plastic straws.
‘I’m delighted to see the confirmation now that plastic straws will be banned. This is a victory for all who campaigned and took action.
‘I have always said that we need to ensure there is provision for those who depend on straws for drinking, and I hope the exemptions help allay fears around this point.’
It is thought that hundreds of millions of pieces of single-use plastic are wasted each year.
The Scottish Government is now encouraging businesses that will be affected by the changes to consider managing stock levels of banned items, so as to avoid waste.
The proposed legislation has a small number of targeted exemptions to ensure there are no unintentional consequences, which means those who use straws to eat or drink independently (such as for medical needs) can continue to do so.