Consequences of a change in resource use

Community compostingCurrent Comment on this pagepatterns of resource use cannot be sustained: we must change the way we manage waste and resources in Scotland if we are to protect our economy and environment for future generations.

Benefits from managing waste sustainably

Moving to a more ‘circular’ economic model will enable materials to flow continuously through the economy without ending up as waste.

This can be achieved by changing how we design products, for example using more easily recyclable materials or making it easier to upgrade and re-use products over a longer life, as well as changing how those products are recovered at the end of their life, for example manufacturers taking them back as part of a leasing arrangement.

This will benefit Scotland’s environment because less waste will be produced and sent to landfill, less energy will be used in the management of waste, and more value will be obtained from the materials used in the economy.

For example, it is estimated that better waste management over the past decade has contributed to a 10% reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, largely through increased recycling and less landfill.

There are also economic benefits. Achieving the zero waste recycling targets is estimated to be worth about £180 million per year and will create more opportunities for ‘green’ jobs within Scotland. Businesses and individuals can save money by becoming more resource efficient.