We are experiencing a period of intense resource stress, driven by the scale and speed of demand growth from emerging economies and a decade of tight commodity markets. Whether or not resources are actually running out, the outlook is one of supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions and protectionism over access to resources.
Our Zero Waste Plan set out a new vision to shape Scotland's approach to waste: wasting as little as possible and recognising that every item and material we use, either natural or manufactured, is a resource which has a value. It is an economic strategy and a resource strategy - not simply a waste strategy.
This new programme fulfils our commitment in the Zero Waste Plan to develop a waste prevention plan aimed at reducing the amount of waste we produce in Scotland, and encouraging reuse wherever possible - meeting our responsibility under the European Waste Framework Directive  to produce such a plan by the end of 2013.