Dumping plastic food packaging and bottles wastes £11m a year in Scotland, figures from Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) have shown.
The organisation said more than 64,000 tonnes of plastic food packaging and bottles were thrown into household general rubbish bins and sent to landfill every year, with the average Scottish household discarding 27kg of food and drink plastic instead of offering it for recycling.
Such plastic could have been worth £5.7m if recycled, but instead cost local authorities an estimated £5.3m to landfill.
Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “This year alone, the Scottish Government has announced plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds and will shortly be banning rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads as part of Scotland, and the EU’s, vision to reduce single-use plastics, and ensure that any single-use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030.
“Our new expert panel is now considering what further steps can be taken on items like plastic straws and disposable cups. Just last week we announced our plans to remove single-use coffee cups from our main buildings as from 4 June, and I hope this encourages other organisations to take similar action.”
ZWS chief executive Iain Gulland said there was “an enormous opportunity” to make single-use plastic bottles into a valuable resource if people placed them in the correct recycling bins.