Disability Adviser appointed

Expert environmental panel to include specialist on disability

A disability adviser has been appointed to the Scottish Government’s expert panel on dealing with disposable items such as single use cups and plastic straws.

Kate Sang, Professor of Gender and Employment Studies and Disability Co-ordinator at Heriot Watt University, will advise the panel on equalities issues and lived experience, and on the potential implications for disabled people of the group’s proposals.

The panel has been formed to consider environmental charging and other measures that could be introduced in Scotland to tackle our throwaway culture.

Professor Sang will bring expertise in equalities issues and lived experience to help shape policy and provide advice on the implications for disabled people of the group’s proposals.

Announcing the appointment, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“I would like to warmly welcome Professor Sang to the role. Her expertise will be vital in shaping our policy and creating environmentally-friendly ways to encourage long-term, sustainable changes in consumer and producer behaviour in Scotland.

“Professor Sang will advise the panel on issues that will or could have an impact on disabled people. One such issue is how we identify ways to reduce plastic waste such as single-use plastic straws, whilst ensuring that people who depend upon them are not disadvantaged. Professor Sang’s expertise and experience will be invaluable.”

Professor Sang said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to support the work of the expert panel.

“I look forward to working with the panel to ensure that disability issues are considered alongside technical matters to sustainable solutions, for example, to the production and use of single use plastics. In addition to my own experiences as a disabled person, I hope to bring my research with disabled people to the recommendations of the panel, ensuring that the work is sensitive the variety of needs of disabled people in a way which supports the aims of the panel.”

Ms Cunningham will appoint further members of the panel in coming weeks. Among the first items to be considered will be disposable cups and plastic straws.


The 2017/18 Programme for Government A Nation With Ambition stated that:

“We will appoint an expert panel to advise on the use of charges, similar to the successful plastic bag charge, with the goal of encouraging long-term and sustainable changes in consumer behaviour.”

The Single Use Carrier Bag Charge was introduced in October 2014. In its first year, it is estimated that it helped reduce single use bag usage by up to 80%.


Media enquiries

Back to top