from ClubRecycle Newsletter. September 2015
Scottish Government seeks to build on waste strategy
Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has launched a consultation on measures aimed at creating a ‘more circular’ economy within the province, including measures to encourage the repair and reuse of old products.
The consultation also outlines the Scottish Government’s ambition to have ‘more consistent’ recycling services for businesses and households – and for every household to have access to a food waste collection.
Policy direction north of the border has so far been led by the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan, which was set out in 2010 – many aspects of which became law in January 2014 via the Waste (Scotland) Regulations.
The regulations largely focus on waste reduction and recycling, including requirements for all organisations and businesses in the country to recycle plastic, metal, glass, paper and card or face a fine.
Within the new consultation, launched yesterday, the Scottish Government has outlined several key ‘areas for action’ in which it intends to focus future policy around resources and waste, including design, reuse, repair, remanufacture and producer responsibility, alongside recycling and energy recovery.
Announcing the consultation, Mr Lochhead said: “At the end of the day, it comes down to making things last – whether that be designing complex products to enable remanufacture, or quite simply empowering people to repair household items instead of throwing them away, the concept makes sense for business, industry, the public sector and individuals.
“I am looking forward to hearing people’s views in shaping Scotland’s steps towards a more circular economy. It will conserve our finite resources, help support jobs in our communities, improve our quality of life, and it just makes good sense.”
On recycling, the Scottish Government notes that its strategy is to ‘increase the volume and quality of materials recycled’ and notes that work is already ongoing to establish a charter for local authorities to develop a ‘more consistent’ approach to recycling.
Elsewhere, the Scottish Government states that it is to open up the discussion with local government on the structure of waste disposal and collection authorities more broadly. Work is also likely to take place to review the sources of contamination in recycling collection systems, as well as looking at the current exemption for rural properties from food waste collection requirements.
Around reuse, proposed measures include work to support local authorities and reuse organisations to improve collection, storage, retail and communications at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) and through bulky waste services. The Scottish Government may also seek to explore the role of reuse through producer responsibility schemes.
Commenting on the measures, Iain Gulland, chief executive, of the resource body Zero Waste Scotland said: “Aiming to move away from our current ‘make, use, and dispose’ way of life, a circular economy aims to create a society where it’s easier for us all to make the most of what we have. For example, in a circular economy, the leasing, lending, and sharing of things, such as clothing, tools, and toys, could become the norm.“