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.

Chapter 3. Next steps: How you can get involved

Through this document we have set out our priorities for the Route Map to 2030, our strategic plan to achieve Scotland's sustainable resource and circular economy ambitions.

We are seeking your final views on these priorities in order to deliver our circular economy ambitions to 2030, and to support our long terms goal of net zero by 2045.

Responding to this consultation

We are inviting responses to this consultation by the closing date of Friday March 15 2024.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation platform, Citizen Space. You canview and respond to this consultationonline. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date.

If you are unable to respond online, please complete the Respondent Information Form (see 'Handling your Response' below) to:


Circular Economy Division 3H South Victoria Quay Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Handling your response

If you respond usingCitizen Spaceyou will be directed to the online Respondent Information Form. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included alongside this document (see ‘Supporting documents’) If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public atScottish Government consultations. If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to:


Circular Economy Division 3H South Victoria Quay Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all ourconsultations online. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision-making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review;
  • inform the development of a particular policy;
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals; and
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.

Impact assessments

We are committed to assessing the impact of proposals. Alongside this draft Route Map we have published updated assessments of the potential impacts on equality, socio-economic considerations, island communities, business and regulation, and the environment. This is in accordance with our legislative requirements and, importantly, to inform the final policy development process. High-level partial and screening impact assessmentshave been developed to accompany this consultation.

The publication of the Route Map itself will not result in direct impacts. However, it is expected that, depending on the design, specific interventions may have an impact if they are introduced.

We aim to use this consultation process to highlight potential overarching impacts for sectors or themes. The feedback we receive will be used to update the high-level impact assessments accompanying this consultation. We will also incorporate feedback to inform future impact assessments for specific interventions, as required.

Question 9: Please provide any further information or evidence that should be considered in the accompanying Equalities Impact Assessment

Question 10: Please provide any further information or evidence that should be considered in the accompanying Fairer Scotland Assessment

Question 11: Please provide any further information or evidence that should be considered in the accompanying Island Communities Impact Assessment.

Question 12: Please provide any further information or evidence that should be considered in the accompanying Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 requires those plans, programmes and strategies that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment to be assessed and measures to avoid, prevent or reduce adverse effects are sought, where possible, prior to implementation.

In consultation with statutory consultees, through the first Route Map consultation[226] (2022) we set out our view at this stage that the cumulative environmental effects from the Route Map are likely to be significant and a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) would therefore be required. In that consultation we sought specific views on information or evidence that should be considered with regards to the environmental impact of proposals outlined in the Route Map, to inform the development of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process.

Alongside this draft Route Map, we have published an Environmental Report, which contains further information on the SEA process and the findings on the likely environmental implications arising from the measures set out within the Route Map with reference to topic areas scoped during the initial scoping phase. The responses received to this consultation, and the findings of the SEA, will inform the final Route Map and will be reflected upon in the Post Adoption Statement. Scottish Government will also monitor the implementation and environmental effects resulting from implementing the Route Map. This will be considered further as part of our development of a monitoring framework for a circular economy, linked to Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill[227] provisions for a statutory circular economy strategy.

A monitoring framework would sit alongside the Environment Strategy Monitoring Framework[228] and allow the Scottish Government to inform policy choices and prioritise action on areas of consumption that are most damaging in terms of climate change or wider environmental impact, and to design specific targets to tackle these things.

The SEA Environmental Report is being consulted on alongside the draft Circular Economy and Waste Route Map, click here to read the report and send consultation response by 15 March 2024.

Question 13: What are your views on the accuracy and scope of the environmental baseline set out in the SEA Environmental Report?

Question 14: What are your views on the predicted environmental effects of the draft Circular Economy and Waste Route Map as set out in the SEA Environmental Report? Please give details of any additional relevant sources.

Question 15: What are your views regarding potential reasonable alternatives, in reference to the approach set out in the SEA Environmental Report?

Question 16: What are your views on the approach to mitigation, enhancement and monitoring of the environmental effects set out in the SEA Environmental Report?

Development of the final Route Map

The Scottish Government would like to thank all those individuals, businesses and organisations who have engaged with the development of the Route Map so far. This includes our partners SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland, and local government.

Ahead of finalisation of our Route Map, this consultation is an important milestone to ensure we have the right priorities to drive delivery of a circular economy in Scotland through to 2030.

To support the consultation process, we are looking to hear from the widest possible range of stakeholders across Scotland on the draft Route Map presented here. This will include specific engagement with key groups, as well as wider communication and engagement approaches.

Following this consultation, we will undertake analysis of consultation responses in order to understand the full range of views on the Route Map, its proposals and impact assessments. We will also undertake any supporting analysis or research where required.

We will then confirm the final Circular Economy and Waste Route Map later in 2024.



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