Circular Economy Bill

Helping end our throw-away culture.

Businesses, industry and individuals are being encouraged to seize on the nation’s talent for innovation by re-thinking how we use and reuse materials. 

Proposed legislation in the Circular Economy Bill includes measures to cut litter and waste and forms part of wider plans for a new approach to reducing, reusing and recycling materials to help drive Scotland’s circular economy.

To launch a consultation on the plans, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham visited University of Edinburgh’s Levels Café and Lounge in Edinburgh, one of a number of sites across Scotland that has linked up with Revive, a company which is turning used coffee grounds into a range of products including an environmentally friendly alternative to palm oil.

Ms Cunningham said:

“A thriving circular economy presents enormous economic and industrial opportunities for Scotland, as well as significant environmental benefits.

“An estimated 80% 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.”

Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland said:

“Fully embracing the circular economy will be a hugely significant step and crucial if Scotland is to reduce its carbon emissions and protect the natural environment.

“The Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill represents a very welcome opportunity to address challenges right across the waste hierarchy, from tacking issues around litter and flytipping, introducing new reporting mechanisms that will help to monitor, track and ultimately help reduce our waste.”


The six-week consultation Circular Economy: Proposals for Legislation launched on Thursday 7 November 2019 and is a Programme for Government 2019/20 commitment.

Proposed legislation to tackle reliance on single-use items like disposable cups was announced on 18 October.

Proposed new enforcement powers for the offence of littering from vehicles were announced on 3 April 2019.

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme is anticipated to reduce the £46 million spent each year on litter removal and is expected to reduce emissions equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off our roads.

Revive Eco Ltd develops high-value natural products from used coffee grounds, extracting high-value biochemicals that have uses in a range of industries. The business creates a natural soil conditioner from the residual material left over, meaning our process creates zero waste. Revive received funding of £235,000 from the Circular Economy Investment Fund.

Revive Co-Founder Fergus Moore said:

“Scotland has the opportunity to build a whole new way of doing business; to create an economy that sustains the environment, not depletes it. The Scottish Governments commitment to the circular economy and sustainability is a great step towards seizing this opportunity.

“We are growing Revive's operations across Scotland and have exciting opportunities to expand internationally, allowing us to maximise our impact. Our mission with Revive is to protect the Scottish environment and showcase our country as a leader in the circular economy on the global stage.”

Since partnering with Revive in June 2017, approximately 35 tonnes of coffee grounds have been diverted from University of Edinburgh’s food waste streams. The resultant soil conditioner has been used by the University’s Landscape Team across its estate.

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