New data highlights Scotland’s opportunity in the bioeconomy sector if a circular economy package was implemented


New data has been released by Zero Waste Scotland that aims to drive investment in line with the country’s circular economy vision by highlighting the level of opportunity in the bioeconomy sector. 

A new report, Biorefining Potential for Scotland, delivers an outlook into the opportunities for waste and by-products in Scotland, through a circular economy package.  


If Scotland implements a circular economy, it will be maximising the value of bio resources with the potential to create economic, environmental and social benefits for Scotland. 

It is estimated that £500-£800 million could be produced for Scotland’s economy by using food and drink by-products alone. 

With the right investment, the report said that through a circular economy, it will make food waste from households, agricultural residues such as animal manure and wastewater from sewers, a useful tool.   

The report has highlighted that if the circular economy was adopted, new jobs will be created in Scotland, particularly in rural and coastal areas where the majority of the waste material is generated. 

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: I am delighted that this report shows there are huge opportunities for Scottish business in biorefining. We need to stop seeing waste and start seeing opportunities.  

“These resources are important and can make high-value chemical products like plastics, paints, plane parts and aviation fuels, with Scotland now considered to be a leader in industrial biotechnology development.” 

Zero Waste Scotland has also provided £18 million into the Circular Economy Investment Fund.