Plastic waste soars in Scotland amidst fears for unpackaged food

The amount of plastic wasted has soared during the current lockdown, as Scots believe products are a lot safer to eat when packaged. A new Populus poll found that two in three Scots are concerned about an increase in plastic waste during lockdown. Some people seem to believe that produce like fruit and vegetables are more hygienic and safer to eat if it is wrapped in plastic.

And the poll found that 84% of Scots believe more compostable packaging should be used to wrap food as an alternative to plastic. Two thirds of Scots surveyed also believed the food industry should lead a move toward compostables and a similar proportion said they were even prepared to pay more for the privilege.

Scottish Environment LINK, the coalition of more than 30 leading charities and organisations said action was needed, warning that in recent weeks streets and beaches have become "littered" with single-use plastic pollution.

It comes as it emerged that illegal dumping of waste nearly doubled in Scotland in April after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown meant that most recycling centres were shut and more than half of the nation's 32 local authorities cut waste collections.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We recognise the importance of communicating with the public about how best to manage and dispose of waste at this time.  We have supported the launch of a national campaign to communicate key messages about waste disposal and collection at a household level. The campaign website offers lots of safe ways to help people avoid waste and protect the environment.

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