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Expert Panel on Environmental Charging and Other Measures (EPECOM)

In May 2018, the Scottish Government launched the 'Expert Panel on Environmental Charging and Other Measures' (EPECOM).

EPECOM provides expert advice to Scottish Ministers on charges or other measures which may be adopted in Scotland with the goal of encouraging the long-term and sustainable changes in consumer and producer behaviour required to move towards a circular economy. 

The expert panel has an initial working life of 2 years, ending May 2020.

In July 2019, the expert panel published their first report which sets out its recommendations to tackle the dependence on, and environmental impact of, single-use disposable beverage cups in Scotland. Key recommendations made to the Scottish Government included:

  1. the introduction of a national, mandatory requirement to sell beverages and disposable cups separately, including an initial minimum price of between 20-25p per cup;
  2. ban the sale of non-recyclable expanded polystyrene/PVC beverage cups;
  3. demonstrate the viability of reusable cup rental schemes for a range of hot or cold drink types.

After the successful publishing of their recommendations for actions on single use disposable beverage cups, EPECOM will continue to explore the broader challenges associated with addressing environmental issues associated with Scotland’s on the go consumption.

The role of Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland hold the role of joint secretariat for EPECOM with the Scottish Government. As part of this role, Zero Waste Scotland undertake or commission the necessary research required to inform the panel. 

Zero Waste Scotland will also support the Scottish Government in acting upon the recommendations made by EPECOM. An example would be funding the launch of reusable cup scheme trials in 2020 across Scotland and undertaking social media campaigns to help inform members of the public.

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