Single-use coffee cups will be banned in Scottish government buildings to reduce the harmful impact of plastic pollution.

Hot drinks will be served in reusable ceramic mugs in cafes and canteens at offices including St Andrew’s House and Victoria Quay in Edinburgh and Glasgow’s Atlantic Quay. Staff have also been encouraged to bring in their own mugs for takeaways.

The government said the move would prevent 450,000 plastic cups from being thrown away each year.

Scotland’s environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham, said: ”The Scottish government is determined to lead by example when it comes to tackling the scourge of plastic littering our countryside and polluting our seas.

“By removing single-use coffee cups from our main buildings, we will prevent 450,000 cups from being thrown away every year. That’s enough cups to cover the distance between Edinburgh and Dundee.

“We support the EU’s vision to reduce single-use plastics as far as possible and ensure any single-use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030.

“We are currently considering what other single-use items can be reduced and removed from Scottish Government buildings later this year.”

The government has appointed an expert panel to look into further options on disposable cups and plastic straws in Scotland.  The panel is being led by electoral commissioner Dame Sue Bruce, with representatives from retail, the waste and chemical industries, the public sector and academia.

It follows The Independent‘s Cut the Cup Waste campaign, which has been calling for action from businesses and government to work towards better solutions to cut disposable coffee cup waste.

The Scottish government ban comes after parliamentary authorities in London announced a plan to introduce a latte levy on takeaway coffee cups, followed by a complete ban on plastic water bottles from the summer of 2018.

It is hoped the action will rid parliament of more than 750,000 disposable coffee cups and 125,000 plastic bottles from its annual waste and “virtually eliminate plastics” from the building by 2019.