Nicola Sturgeon urged to tackle ‘scourge’ of plastic drinking straws in FMQs call

HIGHLAND MSP Kate Forbes will take calls for Scotland to ban plastic drinking straws to the heart of Holyrood later today.

Forbes, who sits on the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee, will raise the issue during First Minister’s Questions in the chamber.

She will ask Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to reveal what action the Scottish Government is prepared to take to tackle the scourge of plastic straws.

It comes after the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch launched The Final Straw campaign earlier this week, asking the Scottish and UK Governments to crack down on plastic straws – a call which has already been backed by leading environmentalists the Marine Conservation Society.

Ms Forbes said: “I’m raising the scourge of plastic straws with the First Minister because I think it requires political action at the highest levels.

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“Plastic straws are one of the top ten plastic items found on our beaches and they are damaging our seas, beaches and wildlife.

“So far, environmentalists have thrown their weight behind my campaign to crack down on plastic straws and primary school children have been leading the way with their #NaeStrawAtAw campaign.

She continued: “This requires politicians across the UK working to ban plastic straws, because the sea does not respect country borders.

“I am specifically asking the First Minister how the Scottish Government intends to tackle single-use plastics like plastic straws.

“The Scottish Government has already lead the way with the 5p charge on plastic bags and moving towards a deposit return scheme and so it makes sense to me that the next step is cracking down on plastic straws.”

Items like plastic straws can take up to 500 years to decompose, despite only being used for less than half an hour.

As well as a ban on plastic straws, Ms Forbes is also encouraging consumers and businesses to change their drinking habits.

Supporters can sign her petition here.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Watch: First Ministers Questions from Noon.

PICTURE CREDITS: The Final Straw

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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