The Scottish Parliament has passed new waste regulations for Scotland in which all businesses are to separate paper, card, plastic, metal and glass by January 2014.
To support these changes, Zero Waste Scotland will invest £8 million in councils and commercial waste management firms this year, as well as £5 million to support the new food waste collections. A further £750,000 has been provided to increase accessibility of collection services to SME’s.
Environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “These waste regulations are a major step towards the delivery of a zero waste Scotland. These ambitious regulations will bring about a profound change in how we view and manage waste that we all produce.
“They will also reduce our dependence on volatile overseas markets for key materials upon which we all depend.
“We all need to realise that the price of and demand for raw materials is increasing globally, mainly down to rising energy costs, consumer trends, population growth and resource scarcity.”
Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland added: “The waste (Scotland) regulations are about unlocking economic opportunity for Scotland. Our waste is a valuable resource we can no longer afford to ignore.
“Many businesses are adopting ‘zero waste’ measures to give them a competitive edge. Scottish businesses could save an estimated £2 billion. Reducing waste in the first place saves on disposal costs and is best for the environment.
“Last year we provided £4 million to councils and businesses with the start up costs of food waste collections, this year we will invest a further £5 million. We are also helping private companies and the third sector develop their businesses to create a competitive market place.”
The Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “The Scottish Government is taking a progressive approach to managing waste back into effective resource use in a package of measures that sends strong market signals about the direction of travel and the potential in the Scottish green economy for investment in reprocessing and adding value to the Scottish resource stream previously seen as waste.
“Central to the success of this strategy will be the supply of consistently high quality materials from recycling collection schemes of all types, especially as materials are diverted from landfill through bans which will deliver higher volumes of resource for re-use, recycling and reprocessing into quality products.
“We stand ready to support the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland in the work they will now undertake to ensure that quality standards of material for recycling are delivered in a way that supports the needs of reprocessors in Scotland and across the UK as they seek to produce quality recycled materials generated from the Scottish resource stream.”