Leading Scottish organisations have given evidence to the Scottish Parliament in which they expressed the benefits of a circular economy.
The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee took evidence on the circular economy from Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Education Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and SEPA, who collectively told the committee that a circular economy is a huge opportunity to boost Scottish jobs, manufacturing and meet environmental targets.
Indeed, while giving evidence the organisations said that the circular economy should be a top priority for government, industry and the education system in Scotland because of the benefits it brings.
Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland said: “The current linear model, where we produce, consume and discard, is simply not the best way to extract the full value of resources and maximise economic and environmental gains in Scotland. By establishing a more circular economy in Scotland – where goods are firstly designed with future reuse in mind, and then recycled and remanufactured to be used again – we can maximise the value of resources in our economy, and embed sustainability in the way we do business.
“There are opportunities to exploit in most key industries in Scotland. Decommissioning activities within the oil and gas industry, a sector which is expected to cost between £35 to £50 billion between now and 2040, is a great example of potential opportunities to do things in a more economical and sustainable way – by choosing reuse or remanufacture over recycling, designing for a longer life cycle, and alternative business models such as leasing for example.
“A circular economy will not only help shield businesses from fluctuations in price and availability of key resources, but there are huge opportunities for business growth for those who can capitalise on the need to repair, reprocess, and remanufacture materials and products. This could create jobs and economic growth for Scotland.”