6.0 Competition Assessment
39. This section assesses the potential impacts of the preferred option on competition among producers, wholesalers, retailers and importers in the Scottish market.
40. The assessment will follow the Competition and Market Authority guidelines which outline how to determine any competition impact. These guidelines recommend considering four key questions in order to assess whether a proposed policy would have an impact on competition. These are:
Will the measure directly or indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers?
Potential impacts on Scotland’s single-use plastics import, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors will be included in the final BRIA.
Growing public concerns about plastic pollution and the impending implementation of the European Single-use Plastics Directive have already begun to drive voluntary moves towards functional alternatives to various single-use plastics products. This is expected to limit the impact of the measure on the number or range of suppliers. It is, however, acknowledged that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumption of single-use plastics is still unclear.
Will the measure limit the ability of suppliers to compete?
The proposed legislation may limit the ability to compete of those suppliers whose main business is the supply of the affected single-use plastic products.
Growing public concerns about plastic pollution and the approaching European Single-use Plastics Directive have already begun to drive voluntary moves towards functional alternatives to various single-use plastics products. However, evidence of the effectiveness of these voluntary approaches is currently limited.
Will the measure limit suppliers’ incentives to compete vigorously?
Will the measure limit the choices and information available to consumers?
The introduction of market restrictions would limit the choices available to consumers as certain single-use plastic products would no longer be sold or would be less convenient to acquire. This impact would be limited as substitutes already exist for many of the affected single-use plastic products.