Call for evidence: Single-use food containers and other single-use items

Closed 30 Jun 2022

Opened 7 Apr 2022

Feedback updated 19 Dec 2022

We asked

This call for evidence asked for  evidence on the size and nature of the market for, and environmental impact of, certain single-use items in Scotland.

You said

Stakeholders provided a range of answers and evidence to the call for evidence questions.

We did

The wide range of answers and evidence will be taken into account when developing policies to move to a more circular approach to consumption in these areas.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Material consumption and waste are the primary drivers of nearly every environmental problem we currently face, from water scarcity to habitat and species loss. Around 75% of Scotland’s carbon footprint is caused by the production, consumption, and all too often waste, of goods, and services. In Scotland we use on average 18.4 tonnes of resources per person, well above the 6-8 tonnes per person considered to be sustainable. Cutting our material consumption is therefore one of the most important ways that we can all limit our impact on the environment. 

Plastic waste, much of it single-use, is not only wasteful but generates litter that is hugely damaging for our oceans, rivers and ecosystems. Every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of single-use plastic are wasted in this country.  They litter our coasts, pollute our oceans and contribute to the climate emergency.

That is why, as part of our target to reach net-zero by 2045 and tackle the nature crisis, the Scottish Government is taking action to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastic products and move to a more circular economy.  

This call for evidence will help facilitate the move to a more circular economy by providing an evidence base which will inform policy development on how to reduce consumption of single-use food containers. It will also be used to gather evidence on other single-use items used in Scotland to aid future decision making on actions that could be taken to reduce the impact they have on the Scottish environment. This is the first step in a comprehensive process to determine future policy decisions that will include further stakeholder engagement and public consultation.

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

Tackling the negative impact of single-use waste has on our communities, oceans, rivers and land ecosystems has never been more important. 

Responding to this call for evidence is your chance to help shape future policy options and play your part in Scotland moving to a more circular economy. This information will help inform future decisions to implement measures in line with waste hierarchy principles of prioritising prevention and re-use over recycling and disposal to tackle consumption of single-use food containers in general.

What happens next

We would like to thank everyone who provided information for this call for evidence. Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed, and this analysis will inform our approach to further stakeholder engagement on this issue.  Respondents who wish to have their responses published will be published here, shortly after the closing date.


  • Environment and Climate Change