Chapter 9.2.2 Resource targets and responsibilities

Phase out single use and harmful products

Ban single use produces like vapes and those which have a harmful environmental impact in use or upon disposal.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

The current single use plastics ban is welcome, but only tackles a small range of products. The Scottish Government consulted on extending the ban to other items238 at the end of 2022 but this needs to be progressed urgently. There is the potential to do so much more.239

Rather than tackling individual items, the Scottish Government should set a target date to ban all single use items where readily available alternatives exist.240 For high volume and material resource products, such as coffee cups, earlier bans should be implemented.

So far, there has been little to no enforcement of the single use plastics ban since it has been introduced and this needs to change.

One potential route to remove single use items is through the strong delivery of Extended Producer Responsibility, see the policy on this in this chapter.

For further information:


Call for evidence: Single-use food containers and other single-use items, Scottish Government, 2022,


Ireland has committed to all packaging being re-useable or recyclable by 2030. Ireland’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy 2020,


Some limited exceptions will be needed for example for medical use

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.