Understanding the policy options for implementing a Scottish specific landfill tax

Landfill tax is a cornerstone of Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan. 

It can be used to encourage the prevention, reuse and recycling of waste and help keep valuable resources circulating in the Scottish economy, by making landfill a prohibitively expensive option.  

The Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act (2014) gained Royal Assent in January 2014. The Scottish Government will be able to set the level of landfill tax from April 2015 (the end of the period of application of the current UK landfill tax escalator). 

The aim of this report, commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2011, is to consider options for varying the landfill tax with respect to the rest of the UK, and to consider the impact these options would have on waste policy, and Scotland’s goal of achieving a Zero Waste Society.

The report includes a literature review, stakeholder interviews, investigation of the approaches taken in other countries to evaluation of such taxes and exploration of modelling approaches already used in the UK. 

The focus then shifts to developing policy options for further investigation based on a combination of quantitative modelling and qualitative assessment.

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