The Scottish government’s Single Use Plastics Advisory Group has issued some discussion papers around how a levy can be applied to single-use beverage as soon as possible in Scotland.
The review promises a business impact assessment with a research project nearing completion. However, this doesn’t seem to include the business loss and increased costs for businesses that will be experienced, along with the equalities issue, given the charge will be disproportionately high for the poorest in Scotland and could add 20% to the cost of a coffee, and, perhaps, VAT.
The review does report concerns including:
• Businesses are under pressure right now, and minimising any negative impact the charge may have on them where possible should be a priority.
• The possible impact on consumers during a cost of living crisis, and disproportionate impact on some groups in society.
• Equalities issues need to be considered throughout the implementation process.
Completely absent from the report is a reference to Extended Producer Responsibility and mandatory takeback of paper cups as an alternative. This is a glaring omission and an impact assessment must take EPR/mandatory cup takeback in to account along with fibre recycling targets.