MORE than half of Scots say the SNP should take a stronger stance against intrusion from Westminster in devolved areas of environmental policies, according to a new poll.

A significant majority (71%) of those surveyed also support introducing a UK-wide deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic and glass bottles, as well as metal cans.

Only a small number of Scots (17%) trust the Prime Minister to deliver the UK Government’s net zero programme, following a series of rollbacks, with 74% of Scots believing Rishi Sunak can’t be trusted to deliver on his headline environmental pledges.

The poll of 1006 Scottish adults was conducted by Yonder – on behalf of Nature 2030 – between March 11 to March 15.

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Nature 2030 is a campaign group "bringing together the power of nature and the strength of policy".

In response to the polling, the chair of Nature 2030 said the Scottish Government needs "to get to grips" with the climate crisis and "stop ministers in Westminster becoming a barrier" to bold environmental action.

The stronger stance was supported by younger cohorts more, with 69% of 18-24 year-olds saying Yes when asked "do you think the Scottish National Party (SNP) should or should not consider advocating for a stronger stance against potential involvement from Westminster ministers regarding Scottish environmental policies?".

Broken down by age, 66% of 25-34 year-olds backed the stance along with 58% of 35-44 year-olds, 52% of 45-54 year-olds, 51% of 55-65 year-olds and 41% of those aged 65 and above.

There have been major concerns raised about respect for the Sewel Convention in recent years.

Minister for Independence Jamie Hepburn has previously said the Sewel Convention – which says Westminster will not normally legislate in devolved areas without Holyrood’s consent – had been breached 11 times recently and he expected the UK Government would do so again.

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson has also previously accused the UK Government of “imposing Westminster rule by stealth” as a paper highlighted the impact of the UK Government imposing authority over Holyrood.

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The environmental polling comes as reports suggest a UK-wide DRS may now not be implemented until 2028, following years of delay, while major retailers have invested millions in preparing for the new green scheme.

UK ministers sparked outrage among environmental advocacy campaigners last year when it was first announced glass bottles would be excluded from the DRS in England and Northern Ireland.

The UK Government then refused to give an Internal Market Act exemption for glass to be included in the Scottish Government's recycling scheme – against public opinion and the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto pledge.

Wales is also committed to including glass bottles.

Green campaigners have urged politicians in London and Holyrood to “get round the table” and ensure constitutional disagreements do not hinder action on the environment.

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John McNally, SNP MP for Falkirk and an environmental audit committee member, said the UK Government has "run out of ideas" and must listen to Scots who want "bold action" to protect the planet for future generations.

He said: "The Scottish people want bold action to tackle the climate emergency and to solve our waste crisis through a wide-ranging deposit return scheme.

 "Rishi Sunak's government in Westminster has run out of ideas and ambition to tackle the environmental challenges we face, meanwhile ministers in Whitehall play political games and ultimately hold progress back."

McNally added:  "The Prime Minister should listen to the overwhelming views of Scots who want him to take decisive action to meet our net zero goals and protect our planet for future generations."

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Dominic Dyer, environmental activist and chair of Nature 2030, said Scots are getting "increasingly frustrated" with interference from Westminster.

“The Scottish Government urgently needs to get to grips with our climate crisis and to stop ministers in Westminster becoming a barrier to taking the bold environmental action we desperately need to see," he said.

“The Scottish Government’s initial and wide-ranging deposit return scheme plans have the overwhelming support of the public who are increasingly frustrated with Westminster interference.

“We cannot let constitutional arguments between London and Holyrood stand in the way of progress on the environment. All politicians should get round the table and redouble their efforts to introduce decisive green legislation to meet our net zero goals.”