“We must make a circular option the easy option for Scottish households, businesses and the public sector.” Share Your Views

 Reusing and recycling as much as possible was what Orcadians were skilled at doing for centuries. Nothing was wasted.

One of many Orkney chairs on display in the Orkney Museum. How skilled Orcadians in the past wasted nothing.

Skills and an attitude we need to return to if we wish to change the way materials are used.

The Scottish Government has published 2 consultations on developing a Circular Economy which close on 22 August 2022.

Key proposals include:

  • banning the destruction of unsold goods to ensure that products never end up landfilled or incinerated when they could be used or recycled
  • improving household recycling and reuse services and consulting on separate kerbside collection of textiles by 2025
  • introducing new reporting to show where recycling goes once it has been collected
  • measures to reduce the consumption of problematic single-use items and promote reuse of products
  • new powers to tackle littering from vehicles
  • a mandatory requirement for businesses to report surplus and waste figures for goods such as food and textiles
  • powers to set local recycling targets, reflecting the success of Wales, which has the one of the highest household recycling rates in the world

The consultations have been welcomed by campaigning group Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Kim Pratt said:

“Over-consumption by the wealthy few is pushing our whole planet to breaking point. Our current economic system, built on the idea of unlimited growth, is driving climate breakdown and leading to global material supply disruptions – it can’t go on. We need to reduce our reliance on new materials by changing our economic consumption patterns.

“The Scottish Government has made some really encouraging suggestions in the Circular Economy Bill. We need circularity to be embedded throughout government and Scotland’s economic sectors for it to be as effective as possible. The commitment to regular reviews and the creation of a circular economy public body are welcome. This new organisation needs to be independent of government and adequately funded. Creating a circular economy will require a step change in the scale and rate of change, based on strong leadership and collaboration. Now is the time to be bold.

“Targets to reduce both Scotland’s carbon footprint and material footprints need to be at the heart of the Circular Economy Bill to create real change, so it’s great to see that these have been prioritised in the bill. We must reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint to zero by 2050 to ensure Scotland contributes its fair share to global climate mitigation. Scotland’s material footprint must more than halve by 2050.”

Scotland’s circular economy targets, outlined in the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan, include ending the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste by 2025, reducing the percentage of all waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025, and recycling 70% of all waste by 2025.

Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland Iain Gulland said:

“Today marks a tremendous step in Scotland’s transition towards a circular economy.

“For years, Zero Waste Scotland has championed and helped usher in a more circular economy to reduce over-consumption. By supporting Scottish citizens, communities and businesses, through funding and tailored advice we are working hard to implement more sustainable ways of living.”

Scotland is trying to tackle single use plastic. From 1st of June 2022  it will be an offence for businesses in Scotland to provide single use plastic items for example plastic cutlery and food containers.

Lorna Slater the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Minister said:

“We must make a circular option the easy option for Scottish households, businesses and the public sector. I want everyone in the country to experience a modern, easy to use waste service that makes it easy for people to do the right thing for the planet.

“We are already taking action, including delivering Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme and our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund, but we know we need to move faster if we are to meet our climate obligations. It requires us to be bold, brave, and focused on delivering the actions needed – and this must be a collective effort.

To take part in the consultation click on this link: Delivering Scotland’s circular economy: A Route Map to 2025 and beyond

There is also a consultation on the Circular Economy Bill. To access that click on this link: Delivering Scotland’s circular economy: a consultation on proposals for a Circular Economy Bill

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