Making things last

Suite of initiatives to boost circular economy confirmed.

Projects to boost recycling and tackle climate change will receive funding of more than £2.5m, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced today.

Among those to benefit are East Ayrshire Council, which will receive more than £2 million to implement the Scottish Household Recycling Charter. The charter is a joint initiative between the Scottish Government and COSLA, setting out one, consistent recycling system which will make it easier for the public to put the right things in the right bin.

The Cabinet Secretary also announced £120,000 for local authority communications to help the public use their food waste service and a further £500,000 to support the work that SEPA and councils are doing to capture harmful methane from closed landfills.

Addressing the resource industry’s main annual event, the Scottish Resources Conference in Edinburgh, Ms Cunningham said:

“Our circular economy strategy is called Making Things Last. Now we need to make things happen.

“Zero Waste Scotland has estimated that we could save 11MT (Mega Tonnes) of emissions by 2050 by moving to a more circular economy – where we keep valuable materials in circulation for as long as possible. Our ambition in this area goes hand in hand with our ambition on climate change.

“Less than half of Scotland’s household waste now goes to landfill, and 75% of households now have a food waste service. The additional support I am announcing today will help keep valuable materials in circulation for as long as possible, and help reduce our emissions. Together with SEPA’s consultation on regulation for reuse and Zero Waste Scotland’s call for applications to its Circular Economy Investment Fund, this demonstrates that we are not only Making Things Last, but making things happen, and turning a circular economy into a reality in Scotland.”

Councillor Eòghann MacColl, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at East Ayrshire Council said:

“We’re proud of how well our residents embrace recycling and a new kerbside recycling system, which allows food, plastics, cardboard, glass, cans, textiles and small electrical items to be collected from people’s doorsteps has been really well received. Signing up to the Scottish Household Recycling Charter means we can continue to promote and deliver effective recycling strategies, with even less going to landfill. This saves money, protects the environment and will help make East Ayrshire an even cleaner, greener place to live, work and visit.”

Cllr Stephen Hagan, COSLA Development, Economy and Sustainability Spokesperson said:

“I welcome the announcement today of funding for East Ayrshire Council. This is an important step in the implementation of the Scottish Household Recycling Charter and I know that other councils will benefit in due course. It’s hugely encouraging that a clear majority of councils have now voluntarily committed to the Charter and I now believe the focus needs to be on turning this positivity into tangible delivery on the ground, which ultimately will be to the benefit of communities, the economy and the environment. I look forward to continuing to work with Scottish Government and our other partners to ensure the continued success of the Charter."

Notes to editors

East Ayrshire Council is the first local authority to be awarded funding to support implementation of the Scottish Household Recycling Charter.

The £120,000 food waste communications funding will be for marketing activity to increase uptake of local services.

At the conference, SEPA also launched a consultation on guidance for regulation in reuse. This aims to provide clarity to those involved in reuse activities about waste legislation, whether it applies to them and what actions are required to remain compliant. This is the first guidance of its kind in Europe and the upcoming consultation will provide welcome feedback about how it can support the reuse sector.

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Zero Waste Scotland also issued a call for “Regions” applications to its Circular Economy Fund, to identify key circular economy business opportunities in a particular area and to build local partnerships to deliver those opportunities.

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