Circular economy and waste route map to 2030: consultation

The route map sets out strategic direction for delivering our system-wide, comprehensive vision Scotland’s circular economy from now to 2030. Building on a first consultation (2022), we are consulting on key priority actions that will unlock progress across the waste hierarchy.

The Route Map has been updated to reflect that referenced research on international examples of Direct Variable Charging models has now been published (Chapter 2, page 58)

Ministerial foreword

Addressing the climate emergency and nature crises are fundamental challenges we must all face up to together. Day-to-day we all see the impacts that climate change and the nature crises are having on our communities, our society, our economic wellbeing, and our environment – both here in Scotland and globally.

Transforming our economy into a circular one, where we keep materials in use for longer, is key to responding to these challenges. We know that 50% of global carbon emissions and 90% of global biodiversity loss and water stress is caused by resource extraction and processing. This brings huge economic opportunities, and we have already seen businesses in Scotland creating jobs by turning what we might otherwise throw away into valuable new products and services.

How we view and treat our resources in Scotland is fundamental to this transformation. Some progress has been made, and in 2022 Scottish households produced the lowest levels of waste on record. However, to cut our emissions significantly and make real progress, we must deliver a fundamental shift across society to reduce the demand for raw material in products, encourage reuse and repairs through responsible production and consumption, recycle waste and recover energy to maximise the value of any unavoidable waste that is generated.

In 2022, we set out a range of proposals across the resources and waste system through our Circular Economy and Waste Route Map consultation, and sought views on the feasibility and ambition of the proposals.

This updated draft Route Map reflects the feedback, and is intended to lay the foundations for the system-wide transformation we need to deliver through to 2030. It sets out the priority actions that will unlock progress across the waste hierarchy; and outlines how we will deliver and coordinate these actions to achieve maximum positive impact for communities and businesses in Scotland. These priorities are founded upon clear evidence, underpinned by a programme of research and analysis.

It recognises that achieving our resources, circular economy and emissions reduction objectives must be a shared endeavour, delivered through a Team Scotland approach, putting collaboration and co-design at its heart. This document is built upon extensive collaboration and engagement with the public, private and third sectors over the past two years. I want to extend my thanks to all who have been involved in this process to date.

Our New Deal for Business and Verity House Agreements underline my long-term commitment to partnership with Scotland’s businesses and local government. We can only be successful if everyone plays their part – government, households and businesses.

The Route Map remains a draft, and the final Route Map will be published later this year, taking account of further feedback received through this consultation.

I am determined that Scotland will play its full part in tackling the climate and nature crises, and I invite you to take part in this consultation to help shape Scotland’s transition to a circular economy.

Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity



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