Waste from the food and drink industry could boost the Scottish economy by up to £800m a year, according to Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).
A report published by the organisation looked at three prominent products and determined the quantity of waste from each annually in tonnes:
- beer – 54,000
- whisky – 4,000,000
- fish and shellfish –- 190,000
ZWS said a number of products could be generated, including aquaculture and animal feeds, fertiliser and protein food supplements, which would bring “a total economic prize for Scotland of between £500m and £803m a year from full implementation of the high-value bio-economy opportunities identified”.
The study forms part of the Scottish Government’s evidence programme with ZWS, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to understand the potential benefits of a circular economy.
Environment minister Richard Lochhead described the report as “groundbreaking”, and said it was an example of where the circular economy can drive efficiency and profitability for businesses.
“This presents the Scottish Government with an excellent opportunity to work with stakeholders, in the three sectors identified and the wider bio-based sectors, on a strategic approach to developing a robust and extensive bio-based circular economy in Scotland,” he said.
ZWS chief executive Iain Gulland, left, said: “Keeping these leftover materials in productive use for as long as possible is a great example of the circular economy in action.
“ZWS is focused on helping industry and agriculture realise these opportunities, to the overall benefit of the Scottish economy and jobs.”