Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources
An innovative programme to encourage people to save money by wasting less and reusing more has been launched today by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The Scottish Government’s Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources consultation is proposing ambitious targets to cut Scotland’s total waste from households and businesses by 5 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2025.
For Scottish householders, who are currently estimated to produce over 2.8 million tonnes of waste every year, reducing waste thrown out by 15 per cent is the equivalent of cutting out over 6.7 million wheelie bins full of waste. That’s enough waste to fill over 40,000 refuse trucks.
The business-focused proposals aim to tap into the estimated potential to save up to £1.4 billion per year by using raw materials more efficiently and cutting waste. The consultation also considers phasing out free carrier bags to encourage people to reuse bags and help cut litter.
A new lightweight bottle of Famous Grouse Whisky was unveiled by Edrington at the consultation’s launch.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“The challenge is to minimise the resources we need to deliver the quality of life we have come to expect, while reaping the economic benefits. This programme is about helping Scottish businesses become more competitive, about helping Scottish households cut costs, and about helping to preserve our environment for ourselves and for future generations.
“This new Famous Grouse bottle is a great example of how businesses can be more environmentally friendly whilst retaining their high standards.”
Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Business Resource Efficiency of Zero Waste Scotland, the organisation set up by the Scottish Government to deliver its Zero Waste Plan, said:
“No one likes to see things that could be put to good use going to waste. Preventing waste saves money and ensures we make the most of the resources we have. Many of the raw materials we currently rely on are running out. Using less now could safeguard our future, and it’s also the best option for the environment.
“Scottish businesses stand to save up to £1.4 billion by taking simple steps to prevent waste and use resources more efficiently. The Scottish Government’s proposed waste prevention targets will encourage businesses to realise these savings and boost Scotland’s economy.”
Julie Hesketh-Laird, Director of operational and technical affairs at the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
"The Scotch Whisky industry is committed to delivering long term sustainability. The implementation of its industry-wide Environmental Strategy is key to achieving this. The strategy sets ambitious targets, for example to reduce use of fossil fuels and packaging materials in partnership with its supply chain."
Glen Gribbon, director of The Famous Grouse at Edrington, said:
“Edrington is acutely aware of its responsibilities to the environment and is an active participant in efforts by the Scotch Whisky Association to keep its promises and to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. At The Famous Grouse we are constantly innovating so it’s great to see Scotland’s favourite whisky leading the way with such an initiative.”
Key elements of the consultation include:
- Measures to support business and public bodies to save on waste and materials, including delivering a single business resource efficiency service for Scotland.
- Improving the way producer responsibility measures for packaging operate to capture more for recycling in Scotland.
- Introducing Zero Waste Pledges, encouraging businesses to commit to waste reductions and take the credit for their actions.
- The consultation also puts forward proposals for requiring retailers to charge for single use carrier bags, with the proceeds going to good causes. This is about encouraging us all to reuse bags.