Scotland can benefit from circular economy, report shows


A report by the Green Alliance has shown the benefits to Scotland of developing a circular economy.

Scotland’s strengths in sectors such as oil and gas, and the food and drink industry could unlock hundreds of millions of pounds worth of value from the materials used in these sectors, according to the report Circular Economy Scotland.


The report finds that there is a £140 million opportunity to convert whisky by-products into feed for the fish farming industry.

It also suggests reusing steel from decommissioned oil and gas rigs instead of melting it down for recycling. This could reduce associated carbon emission by 80 per cent.

Secondary Commodity Markets 2015 – the conference for buyers and sellers of recyclable materials takes place on 3 March 2015 in London. Find out more here

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead (pictured) said: “The circular economy presents a tremendous opportunity for Scotland’s long term economic prospects. Today’s report highlights some of the potential benefits of a number of Scotland’s key industries and I look forward to discussion on these issues in the coming months. This also marks the start of a six-month period of engagement and debate led by the Scottish Government on the opportunities of a more circular economy.

“We are all used to recycling our waste and taking steps to use less energy and reduce emissions. But we now need to go further and look at designing goods and products that can be reused, repaired and remanufactured.

“Scotland is already recognised internationally as an early mover towards a more circular economy. To maintain that momentum, we need to bring the concept to life for businesses, the public sector and consumers and show what a more circular approach means in practice. That means exploring the different business models, skills and systems we need in our industries, and looking at the best way to help consumers reuse, repair and recycle in their homes and communities.”

The report was commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland.