We aim to make Scotland a zero waste society with a circular economy. This means minimising the population's demand on primary resources and maximising the reuse, recycling and recovery of resources, rather than treating them as waste.

We have ambitious targets for reducing waste and increasing recycling by 2025.


We are managing and reducing waste in Scotland by:


We have several ambitious targets for reducing waste and increasing recycling. By 2025, we aim to:

  • reduce total waste arising in Scotland by 15% against 2011 levels
  • reduce food waste by 33% against 2013 levels
  • recycle 70% of remaining waste
  • send no more than 5% of remaining waste to landfill

We also aim to match the EU ambition for all plastic packaging to be economically recyclable or reusable by 2030.

These targets are integral to our strategy for achieving sustainable economic growth and reducing the cost of climate change to our economy. 

We are signatory to the New Plastics Economy global commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment, demonstrating our commitment to a circular economy for plastics.

See our nuclear energy policy for information on managing radioactive waste.

Bills and legislation

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012

The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014


Email: zero_waste_inbox@gov.scot

Environmental Quality and Circular Economy
3H South
Victoria Quay

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