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2014 - Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland

1 January 2014 heralded a game-changing moment for resource management in Scotland: the introduction of the separate collection requirements of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations.

We’ve worked closely with the resource management industry to prepare for the regulations, and I’m confident many in the industry see this as a chance to do things differently.  We’re looking for service innovation, a focus on quality and much closer engagement with customers, adapting to meet their needs.  That’s our aim for signatories to Scotland’s Resource Sector Commitment.

For waste producers, who might be embracing recycling for the first time, this should be a moment to stop and think about all the resources they use.  Resource efficiency can save money and we have the support through Resource Efficient Scotland to help. 

Householders will also notice a change.  By the end of the year around two-thirds of households should have access to a food waste collection and there will be standardisation in terms of a service being offered across the whole country for the five key materials of paper, card, plastics, glass and metals.   Our work with councils will be about making services work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

On the demand side, we still believe there are real opportunities to develop an indigenous reprocessing industry in Scotland.  We need to find better ways of making that proposition to investors.  Scotland wants to be in the vanguard of a circular economy so it should be an exciting prospect.

It’s a big year for our work to tackle litter too. This year Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Year of Homecoming, so we want to show our country off looking its best. To do that we need to deal with the 250 million visible items of litter we have at any one time. It’s not just about cleaning the country up for our important visitors but keeping it clean for years to come.

Getting to grips with this will reduce the £53m of public money currently spent on clean-up costs and unlock another £1.2m of resource value.  A new national litter strategy and high profile public campaign will start the fight back.  We’ll also publish options for how a national deposit-return scheme might work and support the introduction of a 5p charge for single-use carrier bags.

It’s another exciting and challenging year ahead for all of us and one I’m personally looking forward to.

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland

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