Scotland drops business waste zones as part of Circular Economy Bill

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The Scottish Government has not included business waste zones in its new Circular Economy Bill.

These zones were consulted on last year, with the aim that businesses would need to bid for contracts for collecting recyclate and general waste from these commercial zones.

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However, there is no mention of these in the new Circular Economy Bill, and REB Market Intelligence understands that the proposals have been dropped on the basis that they are currently too difficult to implement.

On the same day that the Circular Economy Bill was published, a report was also published by Zero Waste Scotland that showed the challenges in introducing business waste zones.

The Recycling Association chief executive Paul Sanderson said: “We welcome the fact that these business waste zones have been dropped in Scotland. These could have put our Members out of business, led to higher costs for customers, and would have meant less specialist recycling services.

“Recycling and waste businesses across Scotland will be breathing a sigh of relief that these plans aren’t in the current Circular Economy Bill.”

In addition, the new Circular Economy Bill will give Scottish Ministers powers to:

  • Set local recycling targets, building on the experience of Wales, which has the best recycling rate in the UK
  • Set statutory targets for delivery of a circular economy to measure progress in reducing waste and the nation’s carbon footprint
  • Ban the disposal of unsold consumer goods, to prevent good products ending up in landfill
  • Place charges on single-use items like coffee cups to encourage the move to reusable alternatives.

Local authorities will also be given enforcement powers to allow them to crack down on flytipping and littering from cars.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said: “I want everyone in the country to experience a modern, easy-to-use waste service that makes it easy for people to do the right thing for the planet.

“The Circular Economy Bill with give local Councils and the Scottish Government the powers they need to transform our economy and tackle throwaway culture.

“Of course, the best way of tackling waste is to not create it in the first place. There are huge economic opportunities in the circular economy and we have already seen businesses in Scotland creating jobs by turning what we might otherwise throw away into valuable new products and services.

“This legislation will support the growth of more green businesses and community organisations while cutting waste and climate emissions.”