Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021: islands communities impact assessment - final

Islands communities impact assessment considering whether the Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 have an effect on island communities significantly different to other communities in Scotland.

Consultation responses and stakeholder workshops

16. Analysis of the consultation responses has been undertaken and is publicly available.[3] Analysis of the responses did not identify any island specific concerns.

17. In addition to the formal consultation, island stakeholders were invited to participate in a series of workshops, intended to provide further insight into the issues identified during the screening assessment, and identify any other island issues. Three workshops were held, engaging with fifteen representatives.

18. No additional issues were identified during the workshops, or in the consultation responses. However, stakeholders were able to provide useful context on the issues identified in the screening assessment.

Waste collections

19. With regard to waste collections, participants at the workshops noted that any impact would depend on what is used to replace the single-use plastic items, with two key considerations:

  • Whether the alternatives weigh more than the current single-use plastic versions;
  • Whether the alternatives are easily recycled in an island context.

Marine litter

20. Participants in the workshops agreed that the proposals were likely to have a beneficial impact on the marine litter that is experienced by the islands. This may have a beneficial impact on the health and wellbeing of islanders, as well as providing an economic benefit by ensuring that the islands remain attractive to visitors.

21. However, it was noted that the alternative items may be littered instead, so continued communications will be needed to minimise this.

22. In addition, several respondents to the consultation noted the prevalence of plastic waste, including the items within this proposal, on island beaches.

The use of alternatives on ferries

23. It was confirmed at the workshops that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, reusables were already being used on some ferries.

Access to alternatives

24. Participants highlighted concerns about the impact on island businesses of having to switch away from single-use plastic items. This was for two reasons.

25. Firstly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had obvious impacts on hospitality businesses, and anecdotally, businesses have returned to single-use plastic as a result of perceived hygiene concerns. In particular, the example was given of hospitality businesses that have switched to takeaway service using expanded polystyrene.

26. Secondly, there was concern that island businesses may face higher transport costs for the alternative items. As discussed above, many of the alternative single-use items are heavier than the single-use plastic versions.


Email: supd@gov.scot

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