The Scottish Government has published two consultations on action aiming at delivering on Scotland’s commitments to a circular economy.


A Routemap to 2025 and beyond

The Route Map sets out how Scottish Government intend to deliver their system-wide, comprehensive vision for Scotland’s Circular Economy. Scotland has made significant long-term progress towards its ambitious 2025 waste and recycling targets. Emissions from the waste and resources sector have reduced by almost three quarters over the past 20 years. However, progress has slowed in recent years and we know we have more to do if we are to meet all our targets in full.

This consultation seeks views on the strategic approach to meeting our goals between now and 2025, and looking beyond to 2030. Our proposed priorities are to:

  • Promote responsible consumption and production (including reducing consumption of single-use items, promoting product design and stewardship and mainstreaming reuse)
  • Reduce food waste from households and businesses
  • Improve recycling from households and businesses
  • Embed circular construction practices
  • Minimise the impact of disposal of waste that cannot be reused or recycled
  • Strengthen our data and evidence, sustainable procurement practices, and
    skills and training.

Full details here.

In terms of proposed new actions relevant to organics recycling these include:

  • Facilitate a process to co-design high quality, high performing household recycling and reuse services, with appropriate communications standards, with COSLA, local authorities and service operators.
  • Strengthen the monitoring and reporting framework for local authority waste services, and explore introducing a requirement on local authorities to report publicly on end destination of household recycling collected.
  • Take powers to place additional requirements on local authorities regarding household collection services and develop statutory guidance for household waste services.
  • Take powers to introduce statutory recycling local performance targets for household waste services.
  • Undertake a review of waste and recycling service charging.
  • Review compliance with recycling requirements for commercial businesses.
  • Co-design measures, including targeted communications, to improve commercial waste service provisions that drive waste prevention and reuse, with a particular focus on food waste recycling.
  • Work with industry to identify ways to reduce soil and stones going to landfill.
  • Facilitate the development of a soil symbiosis programme.
  • Undertake a programme of research on waste prevention, behaviour change, fiscal incentives and material-specific priorities.

They have already made a commitment to:

  • Invest £70 million in recycling infrastructure across Scotland through the Recycling Improvement Fund.
  • Evaluate the Scottish Household Recycling Charter and review its supporting Code of Practice.
  • Consult on requirements to separately collect garden waste by 2023, textiles and hazardous elements of household waste by 2025.
  • Consult on the current rural exemption and food separation requirements for food waste collections.


Circular Economy Bill

Scottish Government are consulting on a Circular Economy Bill to bring forward the primary legislation they need to underpin their key policy measures. They are seeking views on whether to take powers within a new Circular Economy Bill. These are split into 4 sections: Strategic Interventions; Reduce and Reuse; Recycle; and Littering and Improving Enforcement.

Proposals 7-11 focus on recycling and includes:

  • Proposals that the Bill provides powers to enable Scottish Ministers to set recycling targets (e.g. recycling, preparation for reuse and composting) for local authorities to help drive further improvements in local recycling performance. They also propose to consider the introduction of powers for Scottish Ministers to set financial incentives to meet targets, or penalties should these targets not be met.
  • Seeking views, new evidence or context on whether householders’ existing obligations are sufficient and if any further steps should be taken in Scotland to support, encourage or require householders to play their full part in improving both the quality and the quantity of materials provided for recycling.
  • Seeking views regarding further enabling powers to incentivise positive household behaviours, to support waste reduction and increased recycling.
  • Looking at creating zoning areas for commercial waste collections.

Closing date for both is 22nd August – please send Jenny any comments by 8th August and I plan to circulate a draft response to members for comments prior to submission.