Resource efficiency

In Making Things Last: a circular economy strategy for Scotland we set out how we aim to move Scotland towards a more circular economy through using resources more efficiently, reducing waste, encouraging re-use and increasing recycling.

Through Zero Waste Scotland programme Resource Efficient Scotland we are supporting businesses, third sector and public sector organisations to boost productivity by using energy, materials and water more efficiently.

We support the European Commission's vision that all plastic packaging should be easily recycled or reusable by 2030.

Circular economy

A circular economy is one where products and materials are kept in high-value use for as long as possible. Moving Scotland towards a more circular economy will benefit:

  • the environment, by cutting waste and carbon emissions and reducing reliance on scarce resources
  • the economy, by improving productivity and resilience and opening new markets
  • communities, by providing more lower-cost options for accessing the good we need, with opportunities for social enterprise

Single-use materials

Single-use materials such as disposable coffee cups and plastic straws represent an extremely inefficient use of resources.

While some single-use items are more recyclable than others, rather than displace activity into alternative single-use materials we aim to shift behaviour in Scotland away from single-use materials completely.

We have taken the lead in this by banning single-use hot drinks cups in all Scottish Government buildings, which will prevent 450,000 cups being thrown away per year.