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Zero Waste Scotland and the circular economy

We provide leadership and practical support to encourage growth of the circular economy in Scotland.

Our approach involves creating enabling conditions for circularity across the Scottish economy and supporting specific opportunities within target sectors. 

We are currently working on the following enabling conditions:

  • Business Models
  • Procurement
  • Design

We are also focusing on the following sectors:

  • Oil and gas decommissioning
  • Textiles
  • Bio-economy

Business Models

We are developing evidence and providing practical help to encourage Scottish-based businesses to adapt their business models to support circular economy outcomes.  For example we worked with a company to help them develop a business model where their customers rent LED lighting systems, enabling repair and maintenance and re-use of fittings and components.


We are working to influence procurement in the public and private sectors to stimulate demand for longer-life products or incentivise business models which support circular economy outcomes.


Around 80% of a product’s environmental impact is decided by its design.  Choices made at the design stage also determine what  materials are used and how easily they can be repaired or recycled.

This is why we are working with The Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (RSA) with the aim to embed circular economy thinking with designers and other product experts.

Oil and gas decommissioning

We are working in partnership with Decom North Sea to encourage more re-use of products and materials used by the offshore oil and gas industry. We are also developing a series of circular economy case studies for the industry.


We are working with partners in the UK clothing sector (supply, re-use and recycling) tthrough the SCAP 2020 Commitment to reduce the environmental impact of clothing.

We are also working in partnership with WRAP on the Love Your Clothes consumer campaign to encourage people to maximise the life of their clothes.


We are working to encourage collaboration across relevant sectors of the bio-based economy so resources can be used as effectively as possible, including extraction of high-value nutrients and measures that reduce resource inputs.  We are also working to ensure that where biomaterials are further processed to extract energy, this is done in the most efficient manner, whilst producing a nutrient-rich or soil conditioning product for agricultural benefit.  

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