Let's cut Scotland's waste!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a world without waste?
Every year Scotland throws out five million tonnes of rubbish, polluting the environment, wasting valuable resources and choking up landfill sites.
We already live as if we had the resources of three planets - we should use resources more carefully and throw less away.
The good news is that the Scottish Government wants to do something about this huge problem. They're asking for your views on how we can become a zero waste society.
This is our big chance to urge the Scottish Government to introduce policies which will see a drastic cut in the massive amount of unnecessary rubbish that we send to landfill. Among other actions, they need to ban free single-use carrier bags, reduce unnecessary packaging and bring back nationwide deposit and return schemes, where the price of valuable materials like glass bottles includes a deposit which people can get back when they return them.
What are we asking for?
1. Halve the amount of rubbish we produce by 2025
The Scottish Government is proposing just a 15% cut by then. We need to be far more ambitious if we want a truly resource-efficient economy. By stepping up the momentum on recycling, reuse and avoiding waste, we should be aiming for a 50% cut by 2025.
2. Charge for free single-use carrier bags
We need to use fewer bags if we want a zero waste future. People in Scotland use nearly 600 million carrier bags each year. These take decades to break down in landfills. In other countries, charging for bags has been very successful in cutting use. With the number of single-use bags used in Scotland increasing, it is clear that trusting people to make changes by themselves is not enough.
3. Bring back nationwide deposit and return schemes
Many of us remember paying a few pence extra for a bottle of pop when we were children, to claim it back when we returned the empty bottle. If schemes like these were re-introduced for valuable materials like plastic, glass and metal drinks containers, we would cut the amount we send to landfill, make better use of our natural resources and boost the economy. Around 22,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles still go to landfill in Scotland each year. These would be worth £6 million recycled.
4. Make businesses eliminate unnecessary packaging
The UK produces around 10 million tonnes of packaging waste every year. Most of this goes into landfill sites. The Scottish Government’s proposals only suggest giving businesses support to design more sustainable packaging and to identify how much packaging waste they’re generating. We think that ambitious Scottish targets should be set for businesses to reduce and recycle packaging waste.
The WWF Scotland campaign is very handy in that it already has a letter set up for you to send off, but for more impact, it is always recommend to edit and include your own comments and thoughts. Below are some suggestions from me for things you might want to include:
Supporting local communities and independent business already raising awareness on waste and trying to tackle the problem and advocating re-use, repair, up-recycling or swishing:
Remade in Edinburgh - Community-led initiative to create a reuse and repair centre in Edinburgh
Tinker Tailor - Re-skilling people in mending their own items
The Magic Wardrobe - Transforms used and unwanted fabrics and textiles into costumes for children.
Fried Green Tomatoes - Ethical personal stylist who promotes re-using, swapping, up-cycling and swishing.
Plastic Bags Let the Scottish Government know about initiatives and campaigns already happening to ban plastic bags and the support behind this:
International Bag-Free Day
Banish Plastic Bags Petition to House of Commons (This petition will close on August 18th so if you haven't signed it already do so now and remember to share!)
Ban the Bag - Blog for discussion, education and reference tool for anyone wanting to change policies to reduce their communities marine plastic pollution.
Ban Plastic Bags Edinburgh -non-partisan global movement to ban plastic bags
Food waste: Does your neighbourhood have the food waste scheme, if yes tell the Scottish Government they're on the right track and to keep it up, if not ask them to extend the scheme to all of Edinburgh. Below are some bigger campaigns tackling food waste, let the Scottish Government know this is a growing concern for people:
Too Good To Waste - raising consumer and industry awareness about restaurant food waste.
Take Out Without - Campaigning for no unnecessary packaging from the take out industry.
To participate in the WWF Campaign and help them reach 500 sign-ups please CLICK HERE
For more information on the Scottish Government Waste Consultation please CLICK HERE.
And as always please remember to share