Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill approved

MSPs approved Scotland’s new circular economy bill at the end of June. It will become law after receiving Royal Assent. The earliest version of the bill had no mention of reuse, repair or even the waste hierarchy, and it sidelined the needs of people, from Scottish workers and communities to people involved in international supply chains. In addition, the draft bill didn’t recognise that Scotland’s consumption of materials extends beyond its boundaries where it contributes to global heating and environmental damage.

Since then, collective action by environment and climate groups and others, improved the draft bill to include a just transition for workers and communities, a commitment to the urgent need to reduce the environmental impacts of our consumption to sustainable levels and a recognition that Scotland’s consumption of materials has significant impacts internationally.

The Bill’s measures to help Scotland develop a circular economy include:

  • Publishing a circular economy strategy
  • Developing circular economy targets
  • Reducing waste
  • Increasing penalties for littering from vehicles
  • Making sure individual householders and businesses get rid of waste in the right way
  • Improving waste monitoring

While a lot will depend on how the law is implemented, it has the potential to make important changes to the way Scotland uses materials.

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