The best features in recycling
Scotland aim to save £1.4 billion per year by using raw materials more efficiently and cutting waste
Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, launched a new programme yesterday (27 June) to encourage people to save money by wasting less and reusing more.
The Scottish government’s ‘Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources’ consultation aims to reduce Scotland’s total waste from households and businesses by five percent by 2015 and by 15 percent by 2025.
For Scottish householders, who are currently estimated to produce over 2.8 million tonnes of waste every year, reducing residual waste by 15 per cent is the equivalent of removing 6.7 million wheelie bins full of waste or enough to fill over 40,000 refuse trucks.
Lochhead introduced the programme yesterday, saying: “The challenge is to minimise the resources we need to deliver the quality of life we have come to expect, while reaping the economic benefits. This programme is about helping Scottish businesses become more competitive, about helping Scottish households cut costs, and about helping to preserve our environment for ourselves and for future generations.
Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Business Resource Efficiency for Zero Waste Scotland, welcomed the consultation, saying: “No one likes to see things that could be put to good use going to waste. Preventing waste saves money and ensures we make the most of the resources we have. Many of the raw materials we currently rely on are running out. Using less now could safeguard our future, and it’s also the best option for the environment.”
Lippiatt went on to point out that the consultation could bring about large economic savings: “Scottish businesses stand to save up to £1.4 billion by taking simple steps to prevent waste and use resources more efficiently. The Scottish government’s proposed waste prevention targets will encourage businesses to realise these savings and boost Scotland’s economy.”
Key elements of the consultation include:
- Measures to support business and public bodies to save on waste and materials, including delivering a single business resource efficiency service for Scotland.
- Improving the way producer responsibility measures for packaging operate to capture more for recycling in Scotland.
- Introducing Zero Waste Pledges, encouraging businesses to commit to waste reductions and take the credit for their actions.
- Proposals for requiring retailers to charge for single use carrier bags, in order to encourage people to reuse bags and help cut litter. The proceeds for bag sales would go to good causes.
Also included in the consultation was a plan to amend the current PRN system so that packaging waste arisings in Scotland could be recorded separately to those in England and Wales. The Scottish government proposed that reprocessors and exporters who wish to issue Scottish PRNs/PERNs would need to demonstrate that their packaging waste was originally collected in Scotland. They believe that the changes would have a positive effect on Scotland’s recycling rates and would be unlikely to require significant extra resources as the Duty of Care already requires that waste transfer notes record the origin of the waste.
Further details can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.
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