EU single use plastics directive consultation: partial equality impact assessment

This partial equality impact assessment (EQIA) considers potential equality impacts associated with a market restriction on those single-use plastic products included in Article 5 of the EU Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (2019/904).

Stage 4: Decision Making and Monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

Negative impacts have been identified for the following equality groups; Age (straws, balloon sticks), Disability (straws). We initially considered whether a market exemption extending to chopsticks may negatively impact the East Asian community but consider that re-usable alternatives or single-use substitutes should be readily available in much the same way as is the case for other cutlery.

Positive impacts may be identified in relation to the potential for reduced littering associated with a ban on selected single-use plastic items. Whilst this will create a benefit for all age groups, it may be more significant for younger people (16 -24) whose perceptions of their area are more likely to be negatively impacted by littering.

In addition to the impacts considered, it is important to note that the protected characteristics considered within this partial EQIA are not independent of each other and some people may have to deal with complex and interconnected issues.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010?

If market restrictions were to be implemented without suitable exemptions in relation to single-use straws, there is a risk that the policy could be considered indirectly discriminatory. The Scottish Government is consulting on such exemptions and will ensure the policy is shaped to reflect feedback received

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?

Suitable alternatives are available for the majority single-use items considered in this partial EQIA.

An exemption for straws will be designed for those reliant on them for medical purposes, or for maintenance of dignity and independence.

If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?


Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

21. The partial EQIA has helped to highlight areas where there may potentially be impacts on certain protected characteristics. It can help us to design accessible communication and engagement during the consultation with those people potentially affected, along with relevant equality representative groups. This will help to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.

22. Evidence available and gathered during the consultation will help inform the final EQIA which will be completed at the end of the consultation period.

Monitoring and Review

23. This partial EQIA has identified areas where mitigation measures may be required. The full EQIA, informed by the consultation process and engagement events will draw upon a wider evidence base in order to identify measures. A strategy for monitoring and evaluation will be devised, based on this information. This will include details of when the monitoring and evaluation will take place and who will be responsible for undertaking it.



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