Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Environment and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, has today called on businesses and social enterprises in Scotland to develop innovative ways of reusing and repairing products to create a more circular economy.
It’s estimated that 150,000 tonnes of re-usable household items, including furniture, electricals and textiles, are sent to landfill in Scotland annually. Just reusing all of the washing machines, T-shirts and sofas would save over 80,000 tonnes of CO2e, Zero waste Scotland reports, and it would also generate over £30m for the Scottish economy in financial savings, sales and re-employment.
Businesses have the potential to make big savings from re-using and repairing equipment and looking at this business model. Innovative social enterprises are already benefiting, and there’s endless opportunities for more collaborative and innovative ideas that tap into societies changing behaviour of re-using instead of disposing
The Cabinet Secretary urged businesses and social enterprises to work with Zero Waste Scotland to seize this opportunity in her keynote speech to the Community Resources Network Scotland’s annual conference in Perth today.
Zero Waste Scotland’s £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund includes a specific focus on innovative re-use and repair projects which:
- Are collaborative in nature and of a sufficient scale to demonstrate to or inspire others.
- Implement new solutions to transform re-use and repair activities regionally or nationally.
- Test and deliver new services and models of operation.
Funding is available for small and medium sized enterprises operating in Scotland as part of a programme led by Zero Waste Scotland and supported through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to accelerate progress towards a resource efficient circular economy.
The Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Reuse and repair activities are among the strongest ways to keep valuable materials in circulation for as long as possible and support a more circular economy. Reusing and repairing products can prevent harmful greenhouse gas emissions, support local jobs and provide affordable, quality goods and services.
“Scotland has a strong network of SMEs and social enterprises who can benefit from the opportunities of a circular economy, and I am delighted to announce that Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund is now open to bids for innovative reuse and repair projects.”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said: “The re-use and repair revolution has a vital role in an emerging circular economy. Our Circular Economy Investment Fund can help SMEs and social enterprises to develop innovative and transformative ideas that increase access to re-use and repair services and support the Scottish Government’s Making Things Last strategy.
“The continual move towards a circular economy can create opportunities for collaboration across the private, public and third sectors.”