Calls have been made for pupils of Angus schools to be given re-usable water bottles as part of the fight to reduce single use plastics.
Derek Wann, Angus Council’s convener for young people and learning, said it is children and teenagers who are leading the way on environmental issues and should be supported to do so.
Estimates published by Water UK suggest 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used in the UK each year, with the average person using a 150 plastic water bottles per year.
If just 1 in 10 people refilled a bottle just once a week, instead of buying a new one, around 340 million fewer plastic bottles per year would be used according to the organisation.
Mr Wann, councillor for Arbroath East and Lunan, said: “At the moment, 96% of catering packaging items used in Angus schools are recyclable, while 32% of catering packaging items are biodegradable or suitable for composting.
“I think those are pretty impressive statistics, but of course, more can be done.
“Plastic straws are not used in any setting in schools and while primary schools use plastic trays, cups and cutlery, all of these are reusable.
“I am proud that our young people are so aware of environmental issues and staying hydrated is vital for optimum learning.
“That is why I think every pupil should be given a re-usable water bottle and it may be the Scottish Government could lead the way here.
“I am aware that a small number of schools in Scotland have eliminated single use drinks containers, and in these cases, grant money was available to provide all young people with reusable bottles and provision of water fountains was increased.
“A Scotland-wide programme of issuing reusable drinks bottles could potentially save the need to use millions of single use bottles.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said measures are in place to tackle the country’s “throw away culture” but did not commit to the re-usable bottles.
“Making better use of our resources and cutting waste, including single-use water bottles, will be crucial in addressing the climate emergency and help us move towards a more circular economy,” they said.
“We are taking forward a wide range of activity to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging we use and are proud of the fact that Scotland was the first country in the UK to commit to an ambitious deposit return scheme to prevent discarded drinks containers from ending up in our streets and seas.”