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Zero Waste Scotland gathers world-renowned experts for virtual COP26 event

Ahead of COP26, Zero Waste Scotland is hosting a free virtual event, on Tuesday 5 October, which will see world-renowned experts come together to discuss a vital topic they insist is missing from the climate change conversation: Consumption.

30 Sep 21

This year’s COP26 event is being regarded as “the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control”.

But, as Scotland prepares to welcome world leaders to Glasgow to reach vital agreements, Zero Waste Scotland wanted to draw urgent attention to the global issue of consumption - a topic that has been notably omitted from the agenda.

Their virtual event – “We Need to Talk About Consumption” – will see leading experts, from a variety of fields, taking part in engaging panels throughout the day. Speakers will join from countries including the UK, Northern Ireland, Canada, Oman, Norway, Sweden, and more, to tackle topics such as changing our behaviour towards food waste, reinventing global supply chains and business models, how cities and regions can become more circular, and looking at how we can turn waste into resources.

The theme of the event comes after Zero Waste Scotland published Scotland’s first ever Material Flow Accounts (MFA) report, which quantifies the nation’s raw material footprint – showing the materials being extracted from Scotland’s natural environment every year, as well as those which are imported, exported, and wasted. The landmark report shows around four-fifths of Scotland’s footprint comes from the products and materials we manufacture, use, and throw away at an unsustainably high level - with the average Scot consuming 18.4 tonnes of materials every year, or 50kg per week on average.

A picture likely to be similar in most countries. This is, in part, due to the quantity of things we buy, as well as the way we operate as a society – leading Zero Waste Scotland to highlight the need for a system-wide change that enables us all to choose more sustainable ways to live, use the things we need and share resources.

This is known as a circular economy. “We Need to Talk About Consumption” will look at how adapting to a circular economy can help us tackle our consumption issues, while delivering an improved bottom line for business and offering a more sustainable ways of life for citizens.

Speakers and panellists on the day will include; the world’s first Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, Zero Waste Scotland’s CEO, Iain Gulland, Cities Senior Project Manager at Circle Economy, Matthew Fraser, International Director of WRAP, Dr Richard Swannell, Head of Value Chain Sustainability at Nestle, Andrew Griffiths, Executive Lead of Institutions,

Governments and Cities at The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Jocelyn Blériot, and many more. “We Need To Talk About Consumption” takes place Tuesday 5th October, from 9am – 5pm. Tickets are free and available here. A full itinerary and list of speakers can also be found on the event page.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The evidence is clear - consumption is a real issue – and, to truly end the climate crisis, we need to change how we consume.

“Zero Waste Scotland is honoured to be bringing some of the world’s most notable and renowned leaders, spanning a variety of professions, to take part in what is sure to be an incredibly important day of thought-provoking discussion. Our aim for this event is to inspire people – citizens, business leaders, and decision makers – to play their part in a circular economy, which we know is a solution to ending the climate crisis.

“Admission to our event is completely free, so please pull up a virtual chair and join us. We hope to see you there.”


Notes For Editors

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change. Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy.

We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/.

You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

For media enquiries contact: Sophie Thirkell, Communications Consultant (mat cover), Zero Waste Scotland Mobile: 07966 284095 Email: sophie.thirkell@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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