LAST week I submitted a motion in parliament raising the issue of a ‘Paper Cup Charge’ to help tackle Scotland’s non-recyclable plastic waste situation. 

I also wrote to Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform about this issue.

Along with some party members, I had submitted a similar motion for consideration for party conference. The resolution, like many others, fell at the last hurdle hence the reason I am now raising it in parliament. 

These cups are designed for a single use just like the single use plastic bags.  I believe we should attempt to address the problem to try and help both our environment and good causes.

The proposal follows the success of the Carrier Bag Charge which was introduced by the SNP Scottish Government and has reduced single-bag usage by 80 per cent in its first year. 

I believe a similar charge on plastic and paper cups could encourage consumers and businesses to use reusable take-away cups.

This isn’t the only initiative that should be considered however. London’s Royal College of Art runs a scheme called Cup Club which could be rolled out to major coffee chains and fast-food outlets. It works by connecting student cafes who have a drop off point for the cup, it’s washed and then re-used.

The above are two ways of helping our environment and also collecting money for good causes.

Any organisation who has received monies via the plastic bag charge will tell you of how useful that scheme has been.