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Publication - Report

Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032

Published: 19 Jan 2017
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781786527431

Draft of the climate change plan, the third report on proposals and policies (RPP3) for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets.

175 page PDF

1.9MB

175 page PDF

1.9MB

Contents
Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032
12. Waste

175 page PDF

1.9MB

12. Waste

The Waste Sector covers the use of resources, including maximising the reuse, recycling and recovery of resources rather than treating them as waste.

12.1 Where we are now

12.1.1 This sector has seen a 7.6 MtCO 2e (77.3%) fall in emissions between 1990 and 2014 - the largest percentage fall of any sector over this time period. This is as a result of (1) the progressive introduction of landfill gas being captured and used for energy and (2) the reduction in biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill. There could also be other factors which contribute to this reduction, such as improvements in the standards of landfill and changes to the types of waste going to landfill. Between 2013 and 2014, the Waste Management sector saw a fall of 0.3 MtCO 2e (12.8%).

Figure 19: Waste historical emissions

Figure 19: Waste historical emissions

12.2 Our ambition

Figure 20: Waste carbon envelopes

Figure 20: Waste carbon envelopes

12.2.1 The Scottish Government's ambition for a circular economy is set out in our circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, and by 2035, we would expect the principles of a circular economy to be well established. We want more products designed for longer lifetimes, second hand goods to be seen as a mainstream, good value option, and major industrial sectors to be optimising the value of used equipment, such as the reuse of elements of energy infrastructure. As landfilling decreases, we now want to manage the legacy of landfill sites around Scotland, minimising emissions from operational and closed sites, through innovative flaring technology.

  • By 2020, the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste will be phased out, ahead of the statutory ban that applies from 2021.
  • By 2030, we expect to be in tandem with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to reduce food waste by 50%.
  • By 2050, we aim to be delivering emissions reductions through a circular economy approach in our business and industry sectors.

12.3 Policy outcomes, policies, development milestones and proposals

Policy outcome 1: Reduction in waste sent to landfill.

There is one policy and one proposal which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1.

Policies which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Delivery of our suite of waste reduction, recycling and landfill diversion targets and regulation up to 2025.

  • Target to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025.
  • Target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025.
  • Ending landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste by 2020 and reducing all waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025.
  • Reduce waste and establish a more circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer.

Proposal which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Post-2025 framework for further waste reduction, management and circular economy policies and indicators.

Relative significance of policies, policy development milestones and proposals to the delivery of policy outcome 1

12.3.1 The majority of emissions reductions in the waste sector are as a consequence of policy outcome 1. Together, the policies contribute in an integrated way to the achievement of the policy outcome.

Policy outcome 2: Reduction in emissions from closed landfill sites.

There is one policy and one policy development milestone which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 2.

Policy which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 2

1) Landfill gas capture on closed sites.

Policy development milestone which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 2

1) 12 sites supported by 2022.

Relative significance of policies, policy development milestones and proposals to the delivery of policy outcome 2

12.3.2 Relatively, policy outcome 2 makes a smaller contribution to emissions reductions in the waste sector than policy outcome 1.

12.3.2 Full details of policies, policy development milestones and proposals are set out in the tables below. The delivery of these will be tracked through the monitoring framework (see section 6).

12.4 Wider impacts

Delivery of waste reduction, recycling and landfill diversion targets and regulation up to 2025

12.4.1 Establishing a more circular economy creates strong economic benefits. Businesses can benefit from improving productivity, opening up new markets and improving resilience in their ability to access materials, through reducing reliance on scarce resources.

12.4.2 Our Making Things Last strategy includes a focus on four parts of the economy where these potential benefits are greatest, food/bio-economy; remanufacture; reuse of energy infrastructure and construction/built environment.

12.4.3 Individuals can benefit from more, lower cost options to access second hand or refurbished goods; or make savings through repairing items rather than replacing them. These lower cost options to access the goods we need also bring opportunities for social enterprise.

12.4.4 Alongside the territorial carbon emissions savings as a consequence of moving to a more circular economy, significant global emissions reductions will result from reducing Scotland's demand for imported products and raw materials.

Landfill gas capture on closed sites

12.4.5 Minimal. There is modest potential for landfill gas from a minority of these sites to be used for energy generation.

12.5 Summary of policies, development milestones and proposals

Policy outcome 1: Reduction in waste sent to landfill

Table 12-1: Policies that contribute to policy outcome 1

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Delivery of our suite of waste reduction, recycling and landfill diversion targets and regulation up to 2025

Scottish policy

Zero Waste Scotland (not public sector but publicly funded)

Scottish Enterprise

SEPA

Local authorities

The Scottish Government has set out its priorities for action in our circular economy strategy Making Things Last Strategy. We fund Zero Waste Scotland as our main circular economy expert and delivery partner, supporting businesses, local authorities and communities to act. The enterprise agencies also have an important role through mainstream business support; as do local authorities through their responsibilities for waste and recycling; and SEPA as regulator.

Delivery (as below) through a combination of:

  • regulation, including requirements for business and local authority recycling and a landfill ban
  • targeted funding and the Scottish Landfill Tax
  • support for business, local authority and community action

Target to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025

Local authorities, waste management companies and other businesses have duties to separately collect food waste and other materials for recycling. SEPA is the regulator for the duties on the private sector, and Zero Waste Scotland provides advice and support.

We have agreed the Household Recycling Charter with COSLA, which will introduce more consistent local collections, making it easier for people to recycling and hence improving quantity and quality of recycling.

Through Zero Waste Scotland we are supporting Local Authorities to implement food waste collection and change their recycling collections in line with the Household Recycling Charter, in addition to the funding councils receive through the local government settlement.

Target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025

The baseline for the food waste target was published in November 2016, and a package of actions will be developed with stakeholders in the first half of 2017. The Good Food Nation Bill will provide a legislative vehicle for statutory interventions, if required.

Ending landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste by 2020 and reducing all waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025

Landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste is banned from January 2021.

The Scottish Landfill Tax already provides an incentive to reduce landfilling and prioritise more valuable options such as waste reduction and recycling.

We will work, with SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland, to continue to improve the way that we provide and present information on the anticipated capacity requirements for future alternative waste infrastructure, for use by planning authorities and industry - helping ensure the capacity of waste infrastructure developed is appropriate.

Action to reduce waste and establish a more circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer

Delivery of Making Things Last - A circular economy strategy for Scotland, and our targets to reduce all waste by 15% and food waste by 33% by 2025, including through:

  • Resource Efficient Scotland - helping businesses reduce food and construction waste in particular
  • The Courtauld 2025 agreement with food businesses to cut food waste by 20%
  • The Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service - helping companies transform their business models to design out waste
  • Making circular economy thinking a core aspect of Scotland's Manufacturing Action Plan and mainstream Scottish Enterprise support for businesses

Table 12-2: Policy outcome 1 over time

Policy outcome 1

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Percentage point fall in proportion of waste landfilled from current (2014) rate

9%

12%

14%

17%

20%

23%

26%

29%

32%

32%

32%

32%

32%

32%

32%

32%

Policy outcome 2: Reduction in emissions from closed landfill sites

Table 12-3: Policies which contribute to policy outcome 2

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Landfill gas capture on closed sites

Scottish policy

SEPA

Zero Waste Scotland (not public body but publicly funded)

Local Authorities

12 suitable sites have been identified in the short term by SEPA. We are supporting installation of equipment through Zero Waste Scotland working with site managers, who are often from local authorities, drawing on SEPA expertise. A forward work programme of projects will be developed.

Table 12-4: Policy development milestones which contribute to policy outcome 2

Policy development milestone

Delivery route

12 sites supported by 2022

12 suitable sites have been identified in the short term by SEPA. We are supporting the installation of equipment through Zero Waste Scotland working with site managers, who are often from local authorities, drawing on SEPA expertise.

Table 12-5: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 1

Proposal

Delivery route

Post-2025 framework for further waste reduction, management and circular economy policies and indicators

The targets in Making Things Last - A circular economy strategy for Scotland run to 2025. This proposal recognises the need to develop a strategic approach in the future.

Table 12-6: Policy outcome 2 over time

Policy outcome 2

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

2031

2032

Number of additional closed landfills with landfill gas capture and treatment

12 suitable sites identified in the short term

12.6 Progress since RPP2

Table 12-7: Progress on RPP2 policies

RPP2 Policies

Summary of progress

Delivery of Zero Waste Plan

Since RPP2 was published, most of the legislative proposals from the Zero Waste Plan have now come into effect, with new legal requirements for separate collection of food and recyclable waste from households and businesses. Key achievements include the following:

  • Household waste has decreased by 18%, from 3.0 million tonnes in 2007 to 2.5 million tonnes in 2015.
  • Resource Efficient Scotland (2013) provides, practical, on-the-ground support to help businesses eliminate unnecessary waste (water, energy and materials), save money and retain a competitive edge.
  • 1.95 million households (80% of total households) now have access to a food waste collection service, up from 300,000 in 2010.
  • Since 2008, food waste processing capacity (anaerobic digestion and composting) has increased from 20,000 tonnes per year to around 297,000 tonnes per year.
  • Scotland's household recycling rate was 44.2% in 2015 - up from around 32% for municipal waste in 2007. 13 councils exceeded 50% in 2015, and four are approaching 60%.

Table 12-8: Progress on RPP2 proposals

RPP2 Proposals

Summary of progress

Enhanced Capture of Landfill Gas from closed landfill sites

Following installation of gas capture at two closed landfill sites in the Scottish Borders, similar gas capture is being installed at two additional sites in Glasgow and East Lothian. Scottish Ministers have also allocated a further £500k for a variety of work at up to six further sites.


Contact

Email: Kirsty Lewin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG