Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has said that Scottish households send over 64,000 tonnes of plastic food packaging and bottles to landfill annually, costing the country £11m annually.
The figures show that each Scottish household throws away 27kg of food and drink plastic that could have been put in the relevant recycling bins and could have been worth £5.7m if recycled.
ZWS has released these figures today as it is World Environment Day, with the main focus being on how to tackle plastic pollution.
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Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “This World Environment Day I’d like to ask people to do what they can to reduce their own use of single use plastic, by reusing what they can and recycling when reuse is not possible. If we work together we can make our vision our reality.”
ZWS chief executive Iain Gulland said: “We have come so far with our recycling capabilities, so when it’s not possible to reduce or reuse plastic we ask everyone to put their used plastic bottles and food packing into the relevant recycling bin where they can. This simple step not only saves the environment, it saves council tax funds and generates money for your local authority area.”
Scotland is committed to eliminating the use of non-recycling plastics and is currently developing a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging that could see recycling rates of more than 90%.