Roseanna Cunningham launches consultation on Circular Economy Bill
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on plans for a new Circular Economy Bill, aimed at reducing waste and cutting emissions.
The consultation paper outlines measures such as introducing charges on single-use items, strengthening obligations on reporting waste and placing additional requirements on local authorities to improve household recycling, alongside measures to prevent waste crime.
Plans for a Circular Economy Bill, aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling materials, were contained in the 2019/20 Programme for Government, with the consultation open for six weeks.
But while environmental groups have supported proposals for a circular economy bill, campaigners warned the measures did not go far enough.
Matthew Crighton, convenor of Scottish Environment LINK’s economics group said: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government has raised aspirations with this consultation, but they won’t be met by the measures which it is proposing. In light of the Climate Emergency and the damage we are doing to nature we should be aiming at far-reaching changes to how we make, sell and consume. The proposals here, though all welcome, don’t come close to that.
“Instead of relying so much on voluntary action by forward-thinking companies and individuals, we need to set statutory targets for reductions in the resources we use, in parallel with our climate change targets. Government should use the bill to create the mechanisms through which producers and retailers will be required to build repair, re-use and recycling into the products they place on the market.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “A thriving circular economy presents enormous economic and industrial opportunities for Scotland, as well as significant environmental benefits.
“An estimated 80 per cent of our global climate emissions are currently linked to the production, consumption and waste of products and resources. For our journey towards becoming a net-zero society to be successful, it must involve a fundamental re-think about how we use and reuse materials.
“An innovative circular economy can improve productivity and open up new markets while providing employment opportunities and lower cost options to access the goods we need. Responding to the global climate emergency will be a challenge for us all - be it government, business or individuals – and I would strongly encourage everyone to share their views on how we make this journey together.”