Zero Waste Regulations make financial and environmental sense for Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland today welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of regulatory plans designed to create a zero waste economy in Scotland.

14 Oct 11

It published also new research showing that delivering the proposed regulations is estimated to benefit Scotland’s economy by at least £178 million by 2025. 

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Moving towards zero waste will benefit Scotland’s economy, creating jobs and market opportunities from valuable resources we currently discard as waste.

“The proposed regulations will enable Scotland to get the highest possible value from resources within our economy.

“Our research shows that additional costs associated with collecting and sorting more recycling will be offset by greater returns to be made from the sale and reprocessing of high quality materials and by lower residual waste management costs.  The Zero Waste Scotland report – An Economic Assessment of the Zero Waste Plan for Scotland - compared a ‘business as usual’ scenario against a ‘Zero Waste Plan’ scenario to assess the costs and benefits associated with each.

The results show that the regulations, which include requirements for source separation of key recyclable materials, bans on sending sorted materials and most biodegradable materials to landfill, and restrictions on materials which can be used for energy-from-waste plants, are set to deliver economic and environmental benefits. 

Collectively, the measures are estimated to deliver total savings against the baseline scenario of at least £178 million (in net present value terms).  Additionally the measures will see Scotland achieve a 70% recycling rate and are estimated to deliver annual greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking almost 800,000 cars off the road.
Iain Gulland added:

“It is important to recognise that as well as what can be achieved through existing technologies, Zero Waste Scotland has made funding available to support innovative approaches to capture more value from resources, through new technologies or targeting high-value, niche waste streams.

“We can also go further in helping businesses to realise cost savings from reducing their resource use in the first place.  For example, our research has shown the hospitality sector could save up to £64 million a year by reducing food waste. We are supporting Scottish businesses to reduce waste and save money by ensuring they get the most out from the raw materials, packaging, products and other resources they buy and use.”

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