From turnips to toys – Sturgeon urged to tackle ‘wasteful’ packaging

The Scottish Government is committed to “substantially reducing” plastic packaging, Nicola Sturgeon said, after being pressed on the “idiotic” and “wasteful” wrapping on products ranging from turnips to toys.

SNP backbencher Christine Grahame raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions after purchasing a “small musical toy torch with whirly, coloured lights” for her one-year-old granddaughter.

But Ms Grahame said it had taken her 20 minutes to remove the toy from its packaging, with a screwdriver needed to free the item.

She said this highlighted that “fighting packaging seems a losing battle”.

The MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale added: “Even the humble turnip is now pre-wrapped, for goodness sake.”

She asked the First Minister: “What can the Scottish Government do to reduce idiotic and wasteful packaging, perhaps starting with toys and turnips?”

Ms Sturgeon responded:  “I should perhaps begin by saying I am relieved to hear the toy torch with whirly, coloured lights was for Christine Grahame’s granddaughter.”

She added: “The Government is committed to substantially reducing unnecessary and difficult-to-recycle packaging to increase recycling rates.

“Earlier this month we, along with other UK nations, commenced a consultation on reform of packaging producer responsibility across the UK, ensuring business meets the full costs of managing packaging at end of life and that consultation will run until May 13.”

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