Food Waste Target could save Scotland £500m.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has pledged to cut food waste in Scotland by a third by 2025, which could save businesses and households across the country at least £500 million.
The Cabinet Secretary made his announcement during a visit with EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in Edinburgh to launch Scotland's first Circular Economy Strategy.
Mr Lochhead said:
"The Scottish Food Waste Reduction Target is the first of its kind in Europe. Pledging to cut food waste by 33 per cent by 2025 will put Scotland at the forefront of global action to tackle food waste, and will put us on track to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030.
"Household food waste in Scotland has decreased by an estimated 37,000 tonnes per year – 5.7 per cent overall – since 2009, saving households across the country a staggering £92 million a year. That's a great start but I want to see more done, which is why I have set this target today.
"A circular economy is where we keep products in use for as long as possible. Scotland is already recognised internationally as a leader in this area and I'm delighted that Commissioner Vella has helped to launch our Circular Economy Strategy: Making Things Last.
"We have identified four priority areas where we can make the biggest environmental and economic impact: food and drink, energy infrastructure, remanufacturing and construction.
"A more circular economy, where we make things last, is an economic, environmental and moral necessity – and it just makes good sense."
Commissioner Vella said:
"I am delighted to hear about Scotland's ambitious and exciting plans for a more circular economy. I was also very pleased to visit textiles enterprise Kalopsia – in the heart of a shopping centre in Scotland's capital – which is a great example of how the concept of a circular economy can be brought directly to the public. The Commission also has ambitious plans for a more circular economy and we looking forward to working with Scotland to help "Make Things Last" and turn a circular economy into a reality."
Mr Lochhead and Commissioner Vella visited textiles firm Kalopsia which is based in Ocean Terminal Edinburgh.
The Circular Economy Strategy can be read here: www.gov.scot/makingthingslast
The Scottish Government and its partners are proud to be at the forefront of action in managing our resources more effectively.
Last week the First Minister announced £70 million of EU and domestic funding to support a more circular economy, alongside Scotland's Manufacturing Action Plan.
The Circular Economy Strategy sets out the Scottish Government's early priorities for action, in the areas where Scotland is in a position to make rapid progress – such as remanufacturing – and where there is scope to deliver the most significant environmental and economic benefits, including food and bioeconomy, energy, infrastructure and construction.
· The new strategy will be delivered in close collaboration with Scotland's enterprise agencies, SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland.
· Our Zero Waste Plan, published in 2010 recognised waste as a resource and set out some of the most ambitious national recycling targets globally, and was a forerunner in articulating an ambition for a zero waste society.
· Our Safeguarding Scotland's Resources programme in 2013 sought to drive new levels of resource efficiency within our economy, and introduced our flagship Resource Efficient Scotland service, helping businesses be more competitive by using energy, water and materials more efficiently.
· And to reflect the integral role that material use plays in our economy, Scotland's Economic Strategy now recognises the potential benefits of a more circular approach in to business, individuals and communities.