Scottish Government Circular Economy Bill 2022


A circular economy strategy 'Making Things Last' was published in 2016 and consulted on in 2019, but because of the pressures on Parliamentary time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bill was not introduced during the last session of Parliament.

The Programme for Government 2021-22 included a commitment to bring forward a Circular Economy Bill, later in this parliamentary session.  The Government is now consulting on this proposal for legislation, prior to the introduction of a bill.

The introduction to the consultation puts the question

What is a circular economy?

Scotland's economy is mainly one in which we "take, make and dispose". We take resources from the ground, air and water; we make them into products and structures; then we dispose of them. This is a linear economy.

In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the maximum value is extracted from them whilst in use and then products and materials are recovered and regenerated at the end of each product's viable life cycle.

One simple way to express the concept of a circular economy is that it is designed to reduce the demand for raw materials in products; to encourage reuse, repair and manufacture by designing and selling products and materials to last as long as possible; and to recycle waste and energy to maximise the value of any waste that is generated. The policy proposals for the Circular Economy Bill are set out in the following chapters under themes of 'Strategic Interventions; Reduce and Reuse; Recycle; and Littering and Improving Enforcement'.

Consultation document  outlining the Government's proposals

Respond to the consultation

Circular Communities Scotland has published  a
Policy Paper for Scotland’s Circular Economy

In which they set out nine key policies which they believe 'will significantly advance our progress to a more circular economy'

1.  National reuse targets – this will help local authorities prioritise reuse over recycling. 
2.  Clear responsibilities for circular economy – clear responsibilities for circular economy targets, strategies and actions will support faster change. 
3.  Statutory requirement for reuse facilities – this is vital to ensure consistent reuse provision across Scotland. 
4.  Investing in local authority recycling centres – this is urgently needed to deliver adequate and effective set aside for reuse provision. 
5.  Investment in reuse and repair projects – investment is needed to grow reuse and repair provision across Scotland. 
6.  Embrace right to repair – greater systems to support repair are needed to increase the lifespan of products. 
7.  Extended Producer Responsibility – any EPR scheme needs to prioritise the principles of the waste hierarchy and support the social economy. 
8.  Ban unnecessary product destruction – this will stop products being destroyed which have not even been used once and provide quality products for reuse organisations. 
9.  Circular public procurement – diverting some public procurement to reuse and recycled products will provide a strong boost for the circular economy. 
10. Phase out single use products – by replacing single use with durable products we will avoid unnecessary waste. 


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