A new programme to encourage people to save money by wasting less and reusing more has been launched recently by Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The Scottish Government’s ‘Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources’ consultation is proposing targets to cut Scotland’s total waste from businesses and households 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 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, a measure which has already been introduced in Wales.
Dr Fi Draper, Principal Environmental Consultant at leading risk management firm Santia Consulting, commented that:
“According to the Scottish Government, businesses can save up to £1.4 billion every year through smarter use of raw materials and waste prevention measures. To unlock these potentially enormous savings, firms must take a very close look at themselves and be prepared to introduce significant changes to the way that they operate.
“Innovations in means of production require investment, but looking at the bigger picture and the long-term financial benefits make for a compelling argument for firms to begin looking for ways to adapt, and make use of new greener technology.”
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.”
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.
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