Circular Economy Bill to reduce waste in Scotland

circular economy bill
© iStock/bnoragitt

The Scottish government has launched a consultation on its proposals for a Circular Economy Bill to cut waste and drive the reuse of materials.

The six-week public consultation launched this week for the proposed legislation, which falls under the government’s wider strategy of radical reform to Scotland’s approach to waste and recycling as part of its transition to producing net zero emissions. The proposed Circular Economy Bill includes provisions for reuse and recycling of waste materials by businesses, individuals and industry bodies.

Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland said: “Fully embracing the circular economy will be a hugely significant step and crucial if Scotland is to reduce its carbon emissions and protect the natural environment. The Scottish government’s Circular Economy Bill represents a very welcome opportunity to address challenges right across the waste hierarchy, from tacking issues around litter and flytipping, introducing new reporting mechanisms that will help to monitor, track and ultimately help reduce our waste.”

The Circular Economy Bill consultation solicits public input on proposals including:

  • Widening the range of single use plastic products which are subject to a minimum charge as a trigger for behavioural change;
  • Integrating circular economy measures into public procurement protocols;
  • Encouraging increased reuse of unwanted surplus stock to deter ‘fast fashion’ practices; and
  • Implementing stricter regulation to promote municipal recycling schemes.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “A thriving circular economy presents enormous economic and industrial opportunities for Scotland, as well as significant environmental benefits. An estimated 80% of our global climate emissions are currently linked to the production, consumption and waste of products and resources. For our journey towards becoming a net-zero society to be successful, it must involve a fundamental rethink about how we use and reuse materials.

“An innovative circular economy can improve productivity and open up new markets while providing employment opportunities and lower cost options to access the goods we need. Responding to the global climate emergency will be a challenge for us all – be it government, business or individuals – and I would strongly encourage everyone to share their views on how we make this journey together.”

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