Leader comment: A sign of good leadership by the SNP

Good government is not just about responding to the public's concerns, passing laws and keeping us safe. It is about providing leadership.

And the Scottish Government has now done that by announcing a ban on disposable plastic cups for coffee, tea and other drinks in cafes at its main offices in Scotland.

In setting such an example, it is sending a message to board rooms throughout the land that they should now consider taking the same step as part of the burgeoning efforts to reduce the scourge of plastic pollution of the seas. It also sends a message to everyone that we need to get a reusable mug if we want to enjoy takeaway coffee.

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Video: Scotland's war on plastic
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

We have made single-use plastics – that are often thrown away within minutes or even seconds of being acquired – part of our way of life. It is now clear that this must change and do so rapidly, starting first with the easiest targets like straws, plastic cotton buds and cups.

But the Scottish Government’s decision is not simply about leadership as its ban alone will save a staggering 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year. How many could you or your firm save?