Single-use disposable cups: EPECOM recommendations

The first report from Expert Panel on Environmental Charging and Other Measures (EPECOM) sets out its recommendations to tackle the dependence on, and environmental impact of, single-use disposable beverage cups in Scotland.


The measures developed by the Panel are varied but are interlinked and would make the most impact if implemented together.  

The Panel believes that, with a strong commitment from government, the public sector and business, the measures set out in this Report could reduce the number of single-use disposable beverage cups used in Scotland significantly. The Panel would look favourably on an ambitious target that focusses efforts immediately. In some settings, as demonstrated by the Scottish Government’s ban of single-use disposable beverage cups, the reduction can be significant and there is a range of settings where the reliance on single-use disposable beverage cups could be decreased by 100% and happen very rapidly. 

The Panel considers that an initial commitment or pledge to the ambition set out in this Report could be used to encourage a range of sectors to take action. This could be something that public sector organisations, industry and retailers could sign up to, demonstrating their backing and recognition of the need to move towards a sustainable model of consumption.  

Finally, the Panel is clear that its focus on single-use disposable beverage cups is to be seen as a starting point rather than an end-point both for their own activities and in a broader sense. These recommendations address one item that is used and discarded many thousands of times each day across Scotland. The Panel is hopeful that their recommendations on cups act as a spur for action in other areas and will generate greater public awareness to reduce reliance on single-use items and the need to reduce plastic waste more generally. 



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