Scotland's Zero Waste Plan

Scotland's Zero Waste Plan

Ministerial Foreword

A Zero Waste Plan for Scotland:


Waste affects every one of us in Scotland. Every day, at home and at work, we acquire, use and dispose of resources. And as individuals and organisations we are becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the environment, and the need to look after the precious resources we all depend on.

Scotland has already made huge progress on waste. We have cut dramatically the amount of waste we throw away in landfill sites, and recycling has soared. The Scottish Government has energetically supported local authorities in driving up recycling rates and achieving the European target to cut the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill more than 4 years earlier than the deadline of 2013. Our ambitious climate change legislation includes powers to tackle the climate impacts of waste. And we have set up a coordinated Zero Waste Scotland programme to support action on waste.

However, there is still much to do. We must carry on cleaning up our act, preventing and reducing waste. Above all, we have to recognise that everything we use and throw away is a resource which has a value, a value that we should try to preserve, capture, and use again wherever possible.

That is what a zero waste Scotland means - not a country where we never throw anything away, but a new approach to making the most effective use of all resources, and avoiding wasting resources or making them unusable wherever we can. This Zero Waste Plan aims to bring a step change for Scotland. To do that, it has to tackle all Scotland's waste, not just the waste that local authorities collect and manage, which is less than a fifth of all waste.

A zero waste Scotland will need commitment and resolve from every one of us. As I travel around Scotland, I see individuals and organisations taking action to prevent or reduce waste, and use resources more efficiently. I am convinced that by harnessing their enthusiasm and following their lead, we will build a zero waste Scotland.

Government's role is to set the vision, introduce policies to drive change, and give leadership to bring these changes to fruition. This first Zero Waste Plan for Scotland sets a course for the changes we need to make. It proposes long term targets of recycling 70% of all Scotland's waste, and only 5% of remaining waste ending up in landfill by 2025.

I believe this Zero Waste Plan sets realistic, ambitious and sustainable objectives, and that it gives clear signals that allows us to make plans, invest and take decisions for the future, so we can work towards a greener, less wasteful Scotland that can support us and our children.


Cabinet Secretary

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