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EU Commissioner praises Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan

The European Commissioner for the Environment has commended Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan, saying that it made Scotland one of the leading nations in Europe on the recycling front.

The plan, launched in June 2010, depicts the Scottish government’s vision for a waste free society and includes some long-term reycling objectives.

“[The plan] sets out targets for 2025 of 70% recycling for all waste and a maximum of 5% to go to landfill,” said Janez Potočnik in a video address to the Scottish Resource Conference in Glasgow on 2 October. “This puts Scotland amongst the leaders.”

The Commissioner also praised the moderate emphasis that the Zero Waste Plan puts on energy-from-waste as an alternative to landfill.

“I welcome the Scottish government objective to move away from landfill to recycling without relying too much on incineration,” said Potočnik.

However, he acknowledged that despite some recent progresses Scotland had some work to do to meet the ambitious targets and noted that landfill levels were still very high.

Some one million tonnes, or one third of local authority-collected municipal solid waste, was landfilled in 2011, according to the latest available data from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

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