Scotland Agrees New “Consistent” Recycling Systems

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The Scottish Government and COSLA have announced an agreement on new “consistent” recycling systems across Scotland.

Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead was joined by COSLA spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, Councillor Stephen Hagan, today to announce a new consistent approach to recycling in Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary announced that the new system will make it easier for people to recycle, improve the quality of recycling and help local communities reap the benefits of a more circular economy.

Richard Lochhead – “This is a huge opportunity for Scotland, and as I set out in my circular economy consultation, I intend to align Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland support for recycling with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter”

The new Household Recycling Charter and associated Code of Practice was developed and agreed on by the Scottish Government-COSLA Zero Waste Taskforce. It includes a new three-stream recycling system, which will include one container for glass, one for paper and card, and one for metals and plastics, together with existing food waste and residual collections. Over time, the intention is to move to a common colour system.

Richard Lochhead said: “This new consistent approach will sweep away the confusion that we all face every time we come across yet another difficult recycling system. It will maximise the quantity and quality of materials captured, and allow us to give consistent national messages about what people should do with their recycling, wherever they are in Scotland.

“This work has been undertaken in collaboration with COSLA, and I congratulate local authorities in taking the initiative with the development of this charter, and working together to deliver a good outcome for all Councils and, ultimately, for Scotland.

“This is a huge opportunity for Scotland, and as I set out in my circular economy consultation, I intend to align Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland support for recycling with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter.”

Voluntary Charter

Councils can sign up to the voluntary Charter from January. After signing the charter they will receive support from Zero Waste Scotland in developing plans to introduce the new system.

The initiative is also supported the by waste management sector, packaging companies, drinks companies, retailers and the third sector.

Commenting on the announcement, Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important stage in Scotland’s commitment to increase recycling. We must make best use of the materials we have, for strong environmental and economic reasons.

“Adoption of the Charter by councils will help provide clarity and consistency for householders and the resource management industry. Zero Waste Scotland will be ready to support councils who sign up to the new Charter.”

In November this year Defra Minister Rory Stewart asked WRAP to investigate the opportunities and challenges of having greater consistency in the collection of household waste and recycling in England.

Representatives from local authorities, waste management contractors, recyclers, producers and retailers have been brought together by WRAP to explore options.

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