Scotland to consult on new Circular Economy Bill

The Scottish Government has launched consultations on a new Circular Economy Bill to create a zero waste and circular economy designed to increase recycling rates.

Some of the proposals include banning the destruction of unsold goods, new powers to tackle littering from vehicles and requiring businesses to report surplus and waste figures of goods, such as food and textiles.

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the announcement and are calling for measures to change the way materials are used in Scotland.

assorted plastic bottles in black plastic bucket

Kim Pratt, circular economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: ‘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.’

Other proposals include a further consultation on separate kerbside collection of textiles by 2025, new reporting to show where recycling goes once collected, measures to reduce the consumption of single-use items and powers to set local recycling targets.

Research by Friends of the Earth shows Scotland’s material footprint was 18 tonnes per person in 2017, higher than the EU average of 14 tonnes per person.

Additionally, 82% of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from products and services, with over half of these emissions coming from imported goods.

Scotland’s climate targets do not include these emissions, leading campaigners to demand the government to reduce the global extraction of resources supplying the Scottish economy.

Photo by Jasmin Sessler


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