Plans to cut waste from businesses have been unveiled by the Scottish Government.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has unveiled a new consultation on “Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources” which sets out how it plans to help cut waste from homes an businesses by 5 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2025.
The proposals include relaunching an attempt to phase out free plastic carrier bags.
The government estimates the plans would help save businesses £1.4bn a year.
Lochhead had spoken about the plans to Holyrood in the latest issue. He said: “The throw away society [people] have enjoyed up until now will become more alien and unacceptable.” The Scottish Government estimates the scheme would lead to an 80 per cent drop in bag usage and would also raise up to £6m.
Money brought in by the bag tax would be donated to charitable causes as part of a voluntary agreement with businesses, some of which would go towards waste and litter prevention schemes.
It would apply to all retailers in Scotland and would apply to all carrier bags, regardless of what material they were made out of, rather than just plastic – to avoid shops switching to products which have an even higher environmental footprint.
The minimum charge for bags would be 5p, There would be some exceptions to the rules, including bags for confidential materials, such medicines, or family planning products, pre-packaged items and bags given out in airports after passing through security.
As part of the launch, Famous Grouse owners Edrington unveiled a new lightweight whisky bottle, weighing 340 grams – 14 per cent less than the current one, which will save 587 tonnes of glass each year.
Glen Gribbon, Famous Grouse, director said: “Edrington is acutely aware of its responsibilities to the environment and is an active participant in efforts by the Scotch Whisky Association to keep its promises and to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. At The Famous Grouse we are constantly innovating so it’s great to see Scotland’s favourite whisky leading the way with such an initiative.”