Scotland release two consultations seeking views on their approach to a circular economy

On 30 May 2022, Scottish government published two consultations regarding delivery of a circular economy in Scotland

The first aims to gather perspectives on the proposed priorities to reach the country’s environmental targets, and the second seeks views on legislation proposals to develop a circular economy. Both consultations close on 22 August 2022 and the links to full details on the government website, including how to respond, are as follows:

  1. Delivering Scotland's circular economy - Route map to 2025 and beyond consultation: see consultation portal here and full consultation document here
  1. Delivering Scotland's circular economy - proposed Circular Economy Bill consultation: see consultation portal here and full consultation document here


Importance of a Circular Economy

A circular approach to our economy, where we move from a “take, make and dispose” model to one where we keep materials in use, is imperative if we are to tackle the climate and nature crises. The transition to a circular economy will also provide wider economic, environmental, and societal benefits.

Need for consultation & improvements?

Scotland has made significant long-term progress towards its ambitious 2025 waste and recycling targets. Emissions from the waste and resources sector have reduced by almost three quarters over the past 20 years. However, progress has slowed in recent years and Scottish Government know they have more to do if Scotland are to meet all their targets in full.

Consultation summaries and key proposals

Route map to 2025 and beyond consultation

This consultation details Scotland’s proposals for a Route Map to 2025; a strategic plan to deliver their zero waste and circular economy ambitions, between now and 2025, and beyond to 2030. It invites views on the proposed priorities and actions to reach Scotland’s waste, recycling, and emissions reduction targets. Scotland are not on track to achieve these targets in the set timeframe; hence they are looking to implement additional measures to ensure success.

The government’s proposed priorities are as follows (which are summarised in the package table further below):

  1. Promote responsible consumption and production (including reducing consumption of single-use items, promoting product design and stewardship and mainstreaming reuse)
  2. Reduce food waste from households and businesses
  3. Improve recycling from households and businesses
  4. Embed circular construction practices
  5. Minimise the impact of disposal of waste that cannot be reused or recycled
  6. Strengthen our data and evidence, sustainable procurement practices, and skills and training

Building on measures already in place or underway, the consultation proposes a range of additional legislative and non-legislative measures that can positively contribute to the delivery of the targets and make progress towards carbon reduction. Proposals are grouped into the seven change packages detailed in the above table, which span action across the whole circular economy. These are accompanied by 15 consultation questions about the 7 proposal packages.

View the full consultation document here

Respond to the consultation online here

Proposed Circular Economy Bill consultation

In complement to the aforementioned consultation, this consultation seeks views on Scotland’s proposals for legislation to develop a circular economy. The consultation sets out a number of areas in which they are gathering opinions on whether to take powers within a new Circular Economy Bill.

Scottish government is seeking views on four categories; Strategic Interventions; Reduce and Reuse; Recycle; and Littering and Improving Enforcement:

1) Strategic Interventions

Setting circular economy objectives within the wider strategic framework and mainstreaming across policy is vital to meeting objectives.

2) Reduce and Reuse

Reducing and reusing waste are at the top of the waste hierarchy and central to changing Scotland’s relationship with materials and products. Building an economic system that moves away from being based on items that are designed to be disposable will yield the biggest environmental impacts.

3) Recycle

Where waste does occur, there is a need to make sure that Scotland is gaining the most value from it. This is essential for their economy and responsibility as a global citizen.

4) Littering and Improving Enforcement

Littering and flytipping is a blight on local communities, damaging to the environment and a cost to taxpayers and businesses.

Together with the Route Map consultation, responses to this will inform Scotland’s policy on how circular economy targets can best be achieved, including legislative changes which will be presented for consideration by the Scottish Parliament.

View the full consultation document here

Respond to the consultation online here

Comply Direct will be submitting a direct response to the consultations, and if you have any queries about the proposals, please contact our policy team who will be happy to advise in line with information available –