Scottish Circular Economy Bill much needed

5th September 2019

A cross-sectoral coalition of organisations has been launched, calling for an ambitious and comprehensive Circular Economy Bill.

The coalition of over 30 organisations is led by Scottish Environment LINK and includes Friends of the Earth Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Marine Conservation Society, UNISON, Oxfam Scotland, Project Heather, IBioIC, Soilutions Ltd, Wellbeing Economy Alliance, Binn Group, and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.

In 2016, the SNP committed to bring forward a Circular Economy Bill in the current parliamentary term. This new coalition is calling for the Bill to include targets for reducing our consumption of resources in order to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and our inequitable consumption of planetary resources.

Over 80% of Scotland’s carbon footprint is from emissions embedded in goods we use and consume, such as food, furniture, computers and vehicles; and 90% of global biodiversity loss caused by resource extraction and processing.

We are using approximately three times our share of planetary resources to produce the goods which Scottish citizens consume and absorb all the waste we produce.

Matthew Crighton, Convenor of LINK’s Economics Group, said:
“The aim of the coalition is simple, we want a strong Circular Economy Bill which will set ambitious targets for reducing the nation’s material footprint – the amount of stuff which our economy uses. If the Scottish Government is serious about climate change then such a bill must be included in the forthcoming Programme for Government because the two are intimately connected.

“Scots have responded with alarm to plastic pollution in our oceans, but the problem goes far wider than that. The Scottish Government’s commitment to a deposit return system is commendable. However, this is only one example of extended producer responsibility, there are other major waste streams where items need to be banned, taxed, or carry charges.

“To protect the environment on which we depend, we urgently need to change the ways in which we make and use products and services, using less raw materials and reducing our demand on the planet’s resources. We’d like the Government to set a pathway to move to ‘One Planet Prosperity’ where we only use a sustainable and fair share of the world’s resources.”

Tomás Carruthers, CEO and founder of Project Heather, said:
“We all have a responsibility to contribute to the preservation of natural capital. At Project Heather we are building a new stock exchange in Scotland, the first in the world to mandate reporting by issuers of the social and environmental impact of their business, and we are pleased to join with LINK and partners to call for stretching targets and enabling frameworks in the Circular Economy Bill.”

The full list of supporting organisation:
Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland,
Butterfly Conservation Scotland,
Cairngorms Campaign,
Friends of the Earth Scotland,
Marine Conservation Society,
Froglife Scotland,
Trees for Life,
Scottish Wild Land Group,
Scottish Wildlife Trust,
Binn Group,
Blythwood Care,
Circular Edinburgh,
Coastal Communities Network Scotland,
Construction Scotland Innovation Centre,
CRNS - Community Resource Network Scotland,
EAUC - the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education,
EcoIdeaM Ltd,
Green Alliance,
IBioC – Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre,
Keep Scotland Beautiful,
Oxfam Scotland,
Project Heather,
Remade Network,
Resource Futures,
Ricardo Energy and Environment,
SMaSH – The Scottish (Managed) Sustainable Health Network,
Soilutions Ltd,
Tearfund, UNISON,
WasteSwitch Ltd,
Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland

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