Call for a strong Circular Economy Bill for Scotland

In May the Scottish Government will consult on its much-awaited proposals for the Circular Economy Bill. Scottish Environment Link, together with 35 organisations, are calling for an ambitious Circular Economy Bill based on a long-term strategy that makes economic and environmental sense, focused on reducing Scotland’s use of raw materials across all sectors. The bill must include a vision for an economy in which waste and pollution are designed out, products and materials are kept in use and natural systems are regenerated; and which embeds the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Our lifestyles and ever-increasing appetite for raw materials have now destroyed two-thirds of the world’s rainforestshalf the coral reefs and 87 per cent of all wetlands. A staggering 90 per cent of the world’s biodiversity loss has been caused by the extraction and processing of raw materials and in Scotland alone one in nine species – plant, fish and animal – is at risk of extinction. Our material footprint is more than double sustainable levels. What’s more, over 80 per cent of Scotland’s carbon footprint is derived from emissions used to produce the goods we consume.

Scottish Environment Link is calling for 5-year updatable plans to map out how to achieve the circular economy. There should be mandatory public reporting on surplus stock and waste so we can see how much waste is behind what we buy. As well as moving away from single-use, consumers must be informed how easy a product is to repair, thereby assisting consumer choice and pushing manufacturers to make products which are durable and can be readily mended. Retailers should be required to take back products at the end of their life, thereby encouraging design that retains value in components and materials. Businesses as well as environmental groups want an ambitious Circular Economy Bill, to ‘level the playing field’.

Read Scottish Environment Link’s article in the Scotsman here and their proposals for a strong Circular Economy Bill here. Keep an eye on our website for the launch of the Scottish Government’s consultation.

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