Publication - Consultation analysis

Ban of plastic-stemmed cotton buds: consultation response

Summary of responses to the Scottish Government's proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Ban of plastic-stemmed cotton buds: consultation response
4. Conclusions

4. Conclusions

The number of respondents, 830, has allowed conclusions to be drawn from this consultation exercise. Most respondents were individuals, however the inclusion of public bodies, businesses and non-governmental organisations gives a breadth of representation on this issue.

The vast majority of respondents, both individuals and organisations, support the proposal to introduce a ban on the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, 99.4%. The main reasons given for support were for the protection of our marine environment (73%) and the availability of alternatives products (12%). The consultation did not raise concerns regarding any potential additional costs to businesses as a result of the proposal.

Issues raised

  • Alternatives to plastic-stemmed cotton buds

Respondents stated caution that bioplastics should also be covered by proposed legislation.
Response: In the consultation document the scope of the proposed legislation is listed and classifies plastic as a synthetic polymeric substance that can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into various solid forms that retains its final manufactured shape during use in its intended applications. The proposed ban would therefore cover bioplastics.

Respondents were also concerned that alternatives to the plastic-stemmed products should be sustainably sourced.
Response: In the consultation document there is reference to substitute stems which are made from fully natural materials such as paper which is preferably Forest Stewardship Council accredited. This will be something that is referenced in draft Legislation.

  • Criticism of the consultation

There was criticism of the consultation by 21 of 830 respondees. They considered the number of requests for metadata; name, email address etc. to outweigh the questions regarding the proposal.
Response: Metadata is required for any consultation and cannot be avoided.

The other criticism of the consultation was that it did not go far enough in addressing other single-use plastic items.
Response: This consultation was never intended to address any subject other than measure support for the proposal to legislate.