Scotland could ban destruction of unsold goods under new Greens bill
A NEW law is being proposed that would prohibit businesses from destroying unsold durable goods.
This decision aims to increase reuse and recycling rates.
The Circular Economy Bill will also include measures to introduce charges for single-use coffee cups and other disposable beverage containers.
A consultation on the bill was launched by Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater, who 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.
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“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.”
The Greens minister also said the latest proposals would include the power to set local recycling targets and require businesses to declare surplus and waste for goods such as food and textiles.
There is also talk of making it possible to impose a fine on the owner of a vehicle if waste is thrown away.
Slater added: “We are already taking action, including setting up Scotland’s deposit return system and our £70m recycling improvement fund, but we know we need to act faster. if we are to meet our climate obligations.”
Scotland’s climate change plan includes various measures, including phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as well as investment in peatlands and forests.
Slater continued: “It requires us to be bold, courageous and focused on taking the necessary actions – and it has to be a collective effort.
“These consultations defined the main actions proposed and the tools 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.”
Environmental campaigners hailed the latest decision amid calls for strong targets to curb global resource extraction fueling Scotland’s economy.
They also want to see measures introduced to change the way materials are used in Scotland.
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Kim Pratt, 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 across Scottish government and economic sectors for it to be as effective as possible.
“The commitment to regular reviews and the creation of a circular economic public body are welcome.”
Scotland’s material footprint in 2017 was 18 tonnes per person, which is above the EU average of 14 tonnes per person.
Experts have suggested that we can live a sustainable, high-quality life on eight tons per person by moving to a circular economy where materials are reused and recycled as much as possible.
Pratt added, “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.”