Publication - Consultation paper

Developing Scotland's circular economy: consultation on proposals for legislation

Published: 7 Nov 2019

We are seeking your views on proposed legislation for the circular economy bill and secondary legislation.

44 page PDF

687.4 kB

44 page PDF

687.4 kB

Contents
Developing Scotland's circular economy: consultation on proposals for legislation
6. Proposals for secondary legislation

44 page PDF

687.4 kB

6. Proposals for secondary legislation

We have set out below two proposals for secondary legislation on which we are seeking your views through this consultation. Other consultations mentioned elsewhere in this document, including on transposition of the EU Circular Economy Package, on implementation of the EU Single Use Plastics Directive and on food waste arrangements in Scotland, will follow in the coming months.

(i) Including circular economy and climate change obligations in the procurement strategies of public bodies
Public procurement in Scotland has a value of over £11 billion per year. It plays a crucial role in shaping markets and investment. We said, in our Programme for Government 2019-20, that we would consult on legislation to require public bodies to set out how they will meet climate change and circular economy obligations in their procurement strategies.

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) requires each public body with an anticipated annual procurement spend of £5 million or more to prepare or to update a Procurement Strategy setting out how they mean to carry out their procurements for a given period. This includes describing their planned approach to delivering some significant obligations through their procurements like Fair Work and prompt payment.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, we plan to use existing secondary legislation powers, in the 2014 Act, to add to this requirement so that public bodies will also have to specifically describe their approaches to meeting climate change and circular economy obligations in their procurement strategies, along similar lines to how they already describe their approaches to other obligations. As a result public bodies will also need to include climate change and circular economy when they describe in their companion annual procurement reports how they have delivered what they said they would in their procurement strategies. A report from the Scottish Ministers, summarising the content of individual annual procurement reports, is already provided to Parliament each year, which ensures ongoing scrutiny.

Tasking public bodies with taking more of a circular approach when they are buying their goods, services and works could, in turn, stimulate some increased demand for remanufactured and refurbished goods.

Using existing powers, to build on the legal framework established by the 2014 Act, rather than creating new powers in the circular economy bill means that the legislation can be put in place more quickly.

Question

Please note that there is a general question at the end of the consultation where you can provide further information, if required.

19. Do you agree with the proposal that procurement strategies published by relevant public bodies should include consideration of activity which supports the circular economy and action on climate change?

A) Yes
B) No
C) Neither agree nor disagree

(ii) Increasing the minimum single-use carrier bag charge from 5p to 10p

As part of discussions around the 2019 budget, the Scottish Government committed to increasing the single-use carrier bag charge from a minimum of five pence to a minimum of ten pence at the earliest opportunity.

The five pence charge on carrier bags was introduced in 2014, through the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014.[38] The original policy intent of the charge was to reduce litter.

Carrier bags have a disproportionate impact on wildlife, notably in the marine environment where they can be mistaken for food and cause death after ingestion. As they are light and easily windblown, they can spread widely and be difficult and expensive to remove from the wider environment. In 2014 research indicated that 750 million carrier bags a year were dispensed by supermarkets and that around 7.4 million of these bags were retrieved from the wider environment by Scottish local authorities.

Zero Waste Scotland conducted research into the impact of the carrier bag charge one year after it was introduced.[39] The report found that 650 million fewer bags were being handed out annually. Further benefits of the charge included £6.7 million being raised for charitable causes and savings of 4,000 tonnes of materials and over 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The aim of the proposed price increase is to reinforce the benefits outlined above by reducing further the number of single-use carrier bags that are sold in Scotland and encouraging consumers to use alternative, sustainable options.

The proposed increase would also serve to keep Scotland in line with the rest of the UK. In 2019, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consulted on increasing the carrier bag charge in England to a minimum of 10 pence per bag.[40]

Questions

Please note that there is a general question at the end of the consultation where you can provide further information, if required.

20. Do you agree with the proposal to increase the minimum charge on single-use carrier bags from 5p to 10p?

A) Yes
B) No
C) Neither agree nor disagree

21. Do you agree that the initial 5p minimum charge on single-use carrier bags has had a positive impact on the environment?

A) Yes
B) No
C) Neither agree nor disagree


Contact

Email: circulareconomy@gov.scot