Scotland’s waste-free revolution is driving forward, with three more communities pledging to deliver transformative change for residents and workers.
Perth, Leith and central Edinburgh have been selected as the locations for Scotland’s third Zero Waste Town projects, each receiving a share of nearly £900,000 in funding, which includes support from the European Regional Development Fund, to ‘make things last’ where they are based.
Each has ambitious plans in place to develop zero waste approaches to life and business in their communities, contributing to Scotland’s growing circular economy and generating new jobs locally. These include initiatives to present re-use as a quality, attractive and good value shopping experience for customers, to reduce food waste, and to increase recycling activity and local resource efficiency.
“Action from households, communities and businesses is crucial for us to achieve this. That is why I am delighted to announce this funding which will help Scotland’s Zero Waste Towns come up with new and innovative ideas to bring these targets within reach”
Specific activities include pop-up food sharing shops (the SHRUB Swap and Re-use Hub, central Edinburgh); establishing a Zero Waste Business Charter and working with a local housing association to showcase re-use with a show home property (Changeworks, Leith); and establishing a city-wide re-use network to give retailers and residents better access to quality re-use goods (Zero Waste Perth consortium).
The three new zero waste communities join Dunbar and the Isle of Bute, Scotland’s two established Zero Waste Towns. They also form part of a growing network of Zero Waste communities throughout Europe and across the world, including towns in Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Romania.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Re-using and recycling more, and making the most of the food we buy and grow, is something we can all do to reduce waste and keep products and materials in high-value use for longer.
“In Scotland we are working towards ambitious targets on waste, with 70% recycled or prepared for re-use by 2025, and a commitment to reduce food waste by a third by the same year.
“Action from households, communities and businesses is crucial for us to achieve this. That is why I am delighted to announce this funding which will help Scotland’s Zero Waste Towns come up with new and innovative ideas to bring these targets within reach.”
Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Engaging communities in Scotland’s transition to a circular economy, where waste is eliminated and we make things last longer, is absolutely essential. Only by engaging individuals at community level can we fully grasp the potential to deliver circular economy solutions in a way that maximises social and local economic benefits. This is vital to achieving inclusive and sustainable growth for the future.
“Communities are right at the heart of delivering real, lasting behaviour change. With their new Zero Waste Town status these three areas will have new tools with which to build on their zero waste work – while contributing to coordinated action across the country to drive a more sustainable, circular, economy.”
Scotland is recognised as a leading circular economy nation, and has attracted a global Circulars Award for its progress. Re-use and repair, recycling and food waste reduction are all key elements of Scotland’s efforts to progress a more circular economy, in which products and materials are kept in use for as long as possible.
Each of these activities are identified within the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, as areas with opportunity to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits for Scotland.
The Zero Waste Towns initiative forms part of the Resource Efficiency (H&I and LUPS) operations of the £73m Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.