Publication - Progress report

Climate Change Plan: monitoring reports - 2021 compendium

The first annual statutory monitoring report against the updated 2018 Climate Change Plan, as per the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

Contents
Climate Change Plan: monitoring reports - 2021 compendium
Chapter 5: Waste and the Circular Economy

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

Chapter 5: Waste and the Circular Economy

Part A - Overview of sector

The 2018 annual emissions envelope published in the 2018 Climate Change Plan[30] for this sector was 1.2 MtCO2e, whereas the outturn emission statistics for this year (published in June 2020) show a position of 1.7 MtCO2e. On the basis of comparing these figures, the sector was outside its envelope in 2018. However, it should be noted that the historical GHG inventory for the period 1990-2018 was subject to technical revisions since the time of development of the 2018 Plan, which places some limitations on the extent to which these figures can be directly compared.

The updated Plan sets out the following four policy outcomes for the sector:

Reduction in waste sent to landfill On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Total amount of landfilled waste (tonnes)     x
Total amount of biodegradable landfilled waste (tonnes)     x
Reduction in emissions from closed landfill sites On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Number of closed landfill sites with exploratory landfill gas capture/ flaring     x
A reduction in food waste On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Household and non-household food waste reduced (tonnes)     x
Reduce waste and establish a more circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Total waste generated (tonnes)   x  

Just-Transition and Cross-Economy Impacts

We wish to understand and report on the broader just transition and cross-economy impacts of our emissions-reduction activities in addition to these sector specific policy outcomes and indicators. To do this, we use data from the Office of National Statistics: Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy (LCREE) publication.

The LCREE is based on survey data of businesses which perform economic activities that deliver goods and services that are likely to help generate lower emissions of greenhouse gases, for example low carbon electricity, low emission vehicles and low carbon services.

The LCREE indicator is narrowly defined and, while useful within its limited scope, does not give us the full picture of the impacts on workforce, employers and communities and progress towards a just transition. Over the next few years we will work to develop a meaningful set of success outcomes and indicators which can improve our ability to track the impacts of our policies on a just transition to net zero and a wellbeing economy.

Sector commentary on progress

As set out in this report, the most recent data reporting on outcome indicators was published in 2019, and while this suggests progress is being made on outcomes (reduction in landfill, biodegradable municipal waste to landfill), it is ultimately too early to say. For example, official data shows that the total quantity of waste landfilled in Scotland in 2019 was 3.00 million tonnes, a reduction of 20% from 2018 and the lowest figure recorded since records began.

As set out in the recent CCPu, Scotland's progress in reducing emissions in the waste and resources sector over the past 20 years has been striking. Recycling is now a more established part of our everyday life, and we recycle over 60% of Scotland's waste. The amount of waste going to landfill in Scotland is at its lowest since records began. In 2018, waste and resources sector emissions were over 70% lower than in 1998.

However, we still have a significant challenge ahead in order to meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets. Emissions in the sector are currently around 1.9 megatonnes per year; our aim is to reduce these emissions to 1.2 megatonnes by 2025, and 0.8 megatonnes by 2030. Achieving these milestones will require meeting our ambitious waste reduction and recycling targets, including: ending landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste and significantly reducing food waste; accelerating efforts to address legacy emissions from closed landfill sites; and ensuring a more rapid transition to a fully circular economy in Scotland.

Work continues on the policies set out in the Climate Change Plan update to meet this challenge.

Developments in monitoring arrangements since CCPu / last report

Following our commitment to net zero by 2045, in the update to the Climate Change Plan we presented 1 revised policy outcome, carrying forward three from the previous monitoring report. Five new indicators have been introduced to reflect the changes to the outcomes and to provide greater detail.

Part B - Progress to Policy Outcome Indicators

Policy Outcome: Cross-economic

Indicator: FTE employment in Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Year-to-year change

Most recent data: 2018

Data source(s): Office of National Statistics: Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy (LCREE)

Assessment: Too early to say[31]

Commentary:

  • In 2018, Scottish low carbon and renewable energy (LCREE) sector was estimated to directly provide 23,100 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs
  • The LCREE estimates are based on a relatively small sample of businesses and hence are subject to fairly wide confidence intervals. LCREE employment in Scotland in 2018 is similar to previous years and not statistically significantly different to 2017.
Waste graph 1: Employment in Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy, FTE
Graph showing employment in low carbon renewable energy economy from years 2014-2018. The graph shows the amount stayed about level from 2014 to 2015 at around 23,000, increased to around 24,000 in 2016, decreased to about 22,000 in 2017, and increased back to about 23,000 in 2018. None of these changes has been statistically significant. This graph is duplicated across all eight sectors.

Source: ONS

Policy Outcome: 1

Indicator: Total amount of landfilled waste (tonnes)

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Progress to target [no more than 5% of all waste to landfill by 2025]

Most recent data: In 2018, 3.74 million tonnes of Scottish waste was landfilled out of a total of 11.65 million tonnes that were managed. The percentage of waste sent to landfill in 2018 was 32.1% compared with 32.4% in 2017 and 42.8% in 2011.

Data source(s): Official statistics published by SEPA_ 2018 waste from all sources and 2019 waste landfilled in Scotland

Assessment: Too early to say[32]

Commentary: Total waste volumes managed vary significantly year on year, for example, due to changes in the amount of construction and demolition waste. Given the time lag in data, it remains "too early to say" if we are on track. Further work is being undertaken to assess trajectory, supported by the development of the 2025 route map to outline how we will deliver our waste and recycling targets.

The target relates to the proportion of Scottish waste landfilled anywhere. The latest data is for 2018.

Most Scottish waste that is landfilled is landfilled in Scotland. As such it is possible to indicate the likely trend by considering waste landfilled in Scotland, figures for which are available before information on all Scottish waste managed. In 2019, 3.00 million tonnes of waste were landfilled in Scotland, a reduction of 0.74 million tonnes (20%) compared with 2018 and the lowest figure recorded since the start of reporting in 2005.

Policy Outcome: 1

Indicator: Total amount of biodegradable landfilled waste (tonnes)

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Year-to-year change + Progress to interim target [0 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled by 2026]

Most recent data: 2019 waste landfilled showed the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW – the biodegradable component of Municipal Waste) disposed to landfill in Scotland was 0.70 million tonnes, a decrease of 0.32 million tonnes (32%) from 2018.

Data source(s): Official statistics publication by SEPA- 2019 waste landfilled in Scotland and 2019 waste incinerated in Scotland.

Assessment: Too early to say[33]

Commentary: Official statistics show the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled in Scotland decreased by nearly a third (32%) between 2018 and 2019. This means Scotland has met and exceeded the EU target to reduce the quantity of BMW disposed of to landfill.

A implementation date of 31 December 2025 for the ban on biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill has now been set out in legislation. However, we expect significant progress ahead of that date. We are working with partners to model capacity requirements, and ensure alternative capacity is matched to future demand, including expected progress on reducing waste and increasing recycling.

While some of the work to support local authorities' delivery planning had been temporarily delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work has restarted and is progressing at pace. We are working to provide a centrally supported procurement solution to help remaining local authorities secure alternative solutions to comply with the forthcoming ban. We are currently exploring the role of landfill tax in supporting progress towards compliance with the ban as quickly as possible. No decisions have been taken yet.

Policy Outcome: 2

Indicator: Number of closed landfill sites with exploratory landfill gas capture/ flaring

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Progress to target [12 by 2025]

Most recent data:

Data source(s): To be determined.

Assessment: Too early to say[34]

Commentary: This is a new [boosted] policy, as outlined in the recent Climate Change Plan update, to accelerate Landfill Gas Capture, working with SEPA and key industry partners to scale up the existing landfill gas capture programme to mitigate effects of landfill and environmental impact of closed landfill sites. This is supported by additional funding from the Low Carbon Fund, with the aim to harness the energy generated from landfill gas capture and maximise circular economy opportunities.

Policy Outcome: 3

Indicator: Household and non-household food waste reduced (tonnes)

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Progress to target [reduce all food waste by 33% by 2025][35]

Most recent data: The report 'How much food waste is there in Scotland?' published in November 2016 provides the best insight to date as to the true scale of food and drink waste. This provides the baseline for our reduction target.

Data source(s): WRAP (Courtauld) National Household Waste composition 2017

Assessment: Too early to say[36]

Commentary: As outlined in the Food Waste Reduction Action Plan a review of progress towards the 33% target will take place during 2021, providing updated estimates of total food waste in Scotland and further sector specific data. Scotland does not currently collect waste data at the granular level necessary to report annually or by supply chain sector.

While our capacity to measure and monitor on a granular and sector specific level develops, there has been some alternative interim measurement methodologies for internal use. For household data, we have utilised waste compositional data from 5 local authorities in Scotland from a wider UK waste compositional study conducted by WRAP. This has been analysed alongside information from Waste Data Flow, the national database that holds data on waste collected by local authorities.

However any estimates are heavily caveated as the Scottish element of the WRAP household data is based on a small and not necessarily representative sample of LAs. So it is calculated using different methodologies to the 2013 baseline for our reduction target, so we are cautious about using the data to assess progress against the baseline.

Mandatory reporting of food waste by business is a topic that we will consult on in a broader food waste consultation later in the year and the latest waste compositional analysis study, looking at household food waste, is planned for early 2022 after having been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policy Outcome: 4

Indicator: Total waste generated (tonnes)

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Progress to target [reduce total waste by 15% by 2025 against 2011 baseline][37]

Most recent data: 11.45 million tonnes in 2018, 4.2% reduction against 11.96 million tonnes in 2011.

Data source(s): Official statistics publication by SEPA- waste from all sources 2018.

Assessment: Off track

Commentary: The total amount of waste generated in 2018 was 11.45 million tonnes, the same as in 2017. This equates to a 4.2% reduction compared with 2011.

The changes in the amounts of waste generated are not the same for all sources. Since 2011 the amounts of both commercial and industrial (C&I) waste and household waste fell by 22.1% and 7.7% respectively, while the amount of construction and demolition waste increased by 11.8%.

Part C - Information on implementation of individual policies

Outcome 1: Reduction in waste sent to landfill

Policy:

End landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste by 2025, reduce the percentage of all waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025 and recycle 70% of all waste by 2025 by:

  • Developing a new route map to reduce waste and meet our waste and recycling targets for 2025 in a way that maximises their carbon savings potential.
  • Developing a post-2025 route map for the waste and resources sector, identifying how the sector will contribute towards Scotland's journey towards net zero in the period to 2030 and beyond.
  • Establishing a £70m fund to improve local authority recycling collection infrastructure.
  • In line with EU requirements, further promoting reuse and recycling ensure separate collection of textiles by 2025; and ensuring that bio-waste (e.g. garden waste), is either separated and recycled at source, or is collected separately and is not mixed with other types of waste by 2023.

In response to the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC's) latest recommendations, it is our intention to extend the forthcoming ban on biodegradable municipal waste to landfill to include biodegradable non-municipal wastes, subject to appropriate consultation and work to provide assurance around some specific waste streams.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

A implementation date of 31 December 2025 for the BMW ban has now been set out in legislation. However, Ministers expect significant progress ahead of that date.

While some of the work to support local authorities' delivery planning had been temporarily delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work has restarted and is progressing at pace. We are working to provide a centrally supported procurement solution to help remaining local authorities secure alternative solutions to comply with the forthcoming ban.

Work is progressing on the new policies announced in PfG 20 / CCPu 2020. This includes ongoing work with ZWS, local government and COSLA to establish a £70m fund to improve local authority recycling infrastructure.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

To see data in part B - 2019 waste landfilled showed the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW – the biodegradable component of Municipal Waste) disposed to landfill in Scotland was 0.70 million tonnes, a decrease of 0.32 million tonnes (32%) from 2018.

Data source(s): Official Statistics Publications by SEPA- 2019 Waste Landfilled in Scotland and 2019 Waste Incinerated

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Bio ban – 31 December 2025

Recycling Improvement Fund – begins 2021/22 (A call for Expressions of Interest for the fund have now opened)

Policy:

Work with COSLA in the coming year to evaluate the Household Recycling Charter and review its Code of Practice as a key step in developing a future model of recycling collection.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Work with Zero Waste Scotland continues on the review of Charter's Code of Practice

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Further engagement on proposed revisions to Code of Practice May 2021 onwards. Agree approach to evaluating Charter later in 2021

Policy:

Underpinning this we will take steps to improve waste data, continuing to work with UK Government, other devolved governments and agencies to develop electronic waste tracking, which will help deliver a step change in the quality and usefulness of waste data for decision making. This will include taking the necessary steps alongside SEPA to drive implementation of the system in Scotland.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Low Carbon Fund 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Ongoing discussions with UK Government, administrations and regulators regarding development and implementation of electronic waste tracking system.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:-wide consultation due in 2021

Policy:

Electronic waste tracking fund Improved waste data system will help drive further progress to deliver on existing waste and recycling targets.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Low Carbon Fund 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

New policy in CCPu – no updates yet.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:

As above

Outcome 2: Reduction in emissions from closed landfill sites

Policy:

Accelerate Landfill Gas Capture and Landfill Legacy Management: we will work with SEPA and key industry partners to scale up the existing landfill gas capture programme to mitigate effects of landfill and environmental impact of closed landfill sites

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Low Carbon Fund 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

New policy in CCPu – no updates yet.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:

2025, doubling sites with investigative or development work

Policy:

Landfill gas capture on closed sites: in association with SEPA and the waste industry, double the number of landfill gas capture sites that undertake investigative or development work (from 12 to 24 sites) by 2025, in order to harness energy generated from landfill gas capture and maximise other circular economy opportunities. SEPA has already identified 12 sites for potential investigative work.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Low Carbon Fund 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

As above

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

As above

Timeframe and expected next steps:

As above

Outcome 3: A reduction in food waste

Policy:

We will lead collaborative efforts to deliver Scotland's landmark Food Waste Reduction Action Plan. To reduce food waste by 33% from the 2013 baseline by 2025. Actions include:

  • Improving monitoring and infrastructure by considering a mandatory national food waste reduction target and mandatory reporting of Scotland's food surplus and waste by food businesses. Consulting on the current rural exemption and food separation requirements for food waste collections, to help break down barriers to food waste reuse and recycling.
  • Supporting leadership, innovation, effectiveness and efficiency in Scotland's public, private and hospitality sectors by expanding pilot programmes across the education sector and public sector buildings;
  • Support the development and implementation of an NHS Scotland national action plan on food waste;
  • Develop best practice guidance for public sector procurement teams to drive new ways of working and more transparent supply chains.
  • A sustained approach to public engagement and communications to enable the public to make changes in their choices and behaviours around food and food waste, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [FWRAP published 2019; 2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

No new developments

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

Review of Food Waste Action Plan to be published end 2021/start 2022

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Consultation due later in the year

Outcome 4: Reduce waste and establish a more circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer.

Policy:

We will work with local authorities and the future DRS scheme administrator(s) to explore options that will unlock reprocessing investments, including pricing and incentive schemes, to create jobs and a ready supply of recycled material for new packaging.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Options are being explored with local authorities; DRS scheme administrator was approved 24 March 2021

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Options work expected to continue during 2021

Policy:

Measures to encourage more sustainable consumer purchasing, including plans to take further steps to consult on a charge on single use disposable beverage cups and to increase the carrier bag minimum charge from 5p to 10p in this parliamentary session.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Regulations to increase carrier bag charge passed by Parliament and came into force on 1 April

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

-

Timeframe and expected next steps:

-

Policy:

Banning priority single use items: We will consult on banning a number of problematic plastic items identified in the EU's Single Use Plastics Directive (with a view to introducing legislation in 2021) and outline how we will give effect to the wider requirements of the Directive before the end of 2020

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP

[date announced]:

New [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Public consultation was completed (October 20-January 21)

Consultation analysis and consultation responses were published on 17th March 2021

Draft regulations were published for comment on 17th March 2021 for 28 days.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

n/a

Timeframe and expected next steps:

  • 13th April 2021: Consultation closes
  • Lay final regulations later in 2021

Policy:

Implementation of our Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for single use drinks containers.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

DRS scheme administrator approved (24 March 2021)

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

N/A

Timeframe and expected next steps:

We will commission an independent gateway review to assess the impact of the pandemic on the go-live date for the scheme

Policy:

We will also work collaboratively across the public sector developing tools and guidance and a practical approach to influence and empower buyer, supplier and key stakeholder communities to use public procurement to support a green recovery and our wider climate and circular economy ambitions through procurement, embedding climate considerations in organisational procurement strategies by 2021 and reporting progress in annual procurement reports.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Publication of "Taking Account of Climate and Circular Economy Considerations in Public Procurement"

Taking account of climate and circular economy considerations in public procurement: SPPN 1/2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

-

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Publication of Circular Recovery Procurement Roadmap in 2021

Policy:

Reforming extended producer responsibility schemes: We will continue to work with the UK Government and other devolved administrations on reforms to the packaging extended producer responsibility regime, which we expect will deliver improved funding for local authorities in the future.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [2020-2021 PfG]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

An initial consultation has been conducted and consulting second stage consultation on specific proposals for a packaging EPR to be introduced was launched on 24 March.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

-

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The intention is to have introduced an EPR for packaging by 2024. The next steps are the consultation followed by final scheme design and regulation.

Policy:

We are boosting our commitment to building a circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer. We will deliver this by embedding circular recovery principles in the wider green recovery. Through Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), we will intensify our work with industry and businesses to address emissions associated with production, consumption and waste of products/resources; and to promote resource efficiency.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

On-going development of Circular Recovery Roadmaps

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

Milestones will be developed within the roadmaps

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Publication in 2021

Policy:

In the context of the latest CCC recommendations and building on progress already made by the sector, we will consider measures to ensure new energy from waste plants are more efficient, and 'future-proofed' for Carbon Capture and Storage technology.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

New policy in CCPu – no new updates at this stage.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

-

Timeframe and expected next steps:

-

Policy:

As part of our work on developing a route map to 2025, we will undertake a specific and focused piece of work to examine the range of fiscal measures used by other countries to incentivise positive behaviours and to develop proposals to go further in this area.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

New policy in CCPu – no new updates at this stage.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

-

Timeframe and expected next steps:

-


Contact

Email: climate.change@gov.scot