BUSINESSES would be banned from destroying unsold goods as part of the Scottish Government’s widespread plans to dispose of waste.
SNP and Greens ministers have launched a consultation on an upcoming circular economy bill alongside a map of the waste route.
The Scottish government has been criticized for delays in the plans. Ministers first pledged to introduce a circular economy bill in 2019 – but plans were put on hold due to the pandemic.
Ambitious targets set for 2025 for Scotland include ending landfill of biodegradable municipal waste, reducing the percentage of all waste sent to landfill to 5% and recycling 70% of all waste.
Under the proposals, the Scottish government could ban the destruction of unsold goods to ensure that products do not end up in landfill or burned in incinerators when they could be used or recycled.
Ministers are also considering new powers to tackle vehicle waste and a requirement for businesses to report excess waste figures for food and textiles.
Other plans under consideration include measures to reduce consumption of single-use items and potentially introduce separate curbside textile collections by 2025.
Greens Minister for the Circular Economy, Lorna Slater, said: “To tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis, we need to rapidly reduce our demand for raw materials, increase reuse and repair, and recycle more. .
“We need to make a circular option the easiest option for Scottish households, businesses and the public sector. I want everyone in the country to experience a modern, easy-to-use waste management service that empowers people to do the right thing for the planet.
“We are already taking action, including setting up the Scottish Deposit System and our £70m Recycling Enhancement Fund, but we know we need to act faster if we are to meet our climate obligations. It requires us to be bold, courageous and focused on taking the necessary actions – and it has to be a collective effort.
She added: “These consultations have defined the main actions proposed and the tools that we will put in place to help everyone play their part in reducing waste in our economy, capitalizing on the economic opportunities that a circular economy presents for businesses.
“The Circular Economy Bill will give us the power to reduce waste in our economy, while conserving valuable resources and protecting our natural environment.”
But Scottish LibDems have criticized the Scottish government’s delay in reviving proposals that have been put on hold during the pandemic.
The party’s climate emergency spokesman, Liam McArthur, said: ‘It’s been two years since this bill was parked. It takes an age for the SNP/green government to get it going again.
“On the other hand, it didn’t take long for them to resume the race for independence which tells you all about the priorities of this government.”
He added: “Scotland has a huge waste management problem and it needs to be addressed quickly.
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to demand faster government action on coffee cups, single-use plastics, fast fashion and more. Climate and natural emergencies cannot wait any longer.
Zero Waste Scotland’s chief executive, Iain Gulland, said: “Today marks a massive milestone in Scotland’s transition to a circular economy. “For years, Zero Waste Scotland has championed and helped usher in a more circular economy to reduce overconsumption.
“By supporting Scottish citizens, communities and businesses, through tailored funding and advice, we are working hard to implement more sustainable lifestyles.
“The Circular Economy Bill includes measures and approaches that will cement and further support the progress we are making and, importantly, it is a step in the right direction to end our contribution to the climate crisis.
“I encourage everyone in Scotland to take part in these vital consultations.”
Kim Pratt, circular economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Overconsumption by a wealthy few is pushing our entire planet to breaking point.
“Our current economic system, based on the idea of unlimited growth, is causing climate breakdown and leading to disruptions in the global supply of materials – this cannot go on any longer. We must reduce our dependence towards 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 across Scottish government and economic sectors for it to be as effective as possible.
“The commitment to regular reviews and the creation of a public circular economy body are welcome. This new organization must be independent of government and adequately funded. Creating a circular economy will require a step change in the scale and pace of change, based on strong leadership and collaboration.Now is the time to be bold.
“Scotland’s carbon and material footprint reduction targets need to be at the heart of the Circular Economy Bill to create real change, so it’s great to see 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 be further reduced by half by 2050.