As the British Government led by the Conservative party looks to recruit their next leader, the Scottish Government is paving the way toward a single-use plastics free Britain. Also this month, evaluations into the energy supplier market and biodiversity are on the agenda. Read on to find out more.
Scottish Government ban single use plastics
The Scottish Government has announced the ban on single-use plastic items - the first in the UK to do so. It came from the Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) Regulations 2021 coming into force at the beginning of June, banning the use and supply of items such as plastic cutlery, straws, and those items made of expanded polystyrene inside of Scotland. Those who choose not to comply, will receive a maximum fine of £5,000.
The restrictions are currently going through an exclusion process with the UK Internal Market Act (UKIMA), however the Scottish Government are urging businesses to comply immediately, as the changes will be coming in due course.
Reading into the Energy Supplier Market
The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report based on the facts regarding the exit of energy suppliers. They specifically look into the roles of Ofgem and BEIS both prior to and after the exits.
The report concluded that Ofgem could not have prevented the rise in wholesale prices in 2021 but did not do enough prior in terms of ensuring the market, and those suppliers entering it, were resilient to prevent such shocks. In addition, Ofgem were found to have operated the SOLR process effectively enough to ensure households face no supply disruptions, but the additional costs that came with supplier failures meant their bills were increased nonetheless. From this evaluation, Ofgem have recognised that it must quickly improve capacity for future resilience in the sector, aiming to innovate and increase affordability for consumers.
‘Working with nature’ to halt the climate crisis
In an attempt to improve and halt England’s biodiversity and climate crisis, the Environmental Agency launched the ‘Working with nature’ report. It outlines the changes that are required, with specific references to land and how it is used currently, how more should be used for conservation and how we need to implement nature-based solutions to help the recovery of wildlife and help it to adapt to climate change.
To protect our planet and reverse the effects of climate change, we are aiming to become the benchmark for ecological transformation. Our Sustainability Report 2021 details our progress towards this aim over the past year.
The imbalance of demand and supply of energy has caused unprecedented price increases across the globe. Profound changes are required from UK businesses to adapt and ensure a larger energy crisis is avoided by securing supply of energy and limiting reliance on fossil fuels.